“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I did not imagine that I could be a successful student until a fourth grade teacher showed me a better way to study. My leadership capabilities went unused before friends encouraged me to run for club officer positions in college. If you told me five years ago that I would attend Harvard Business School, I probably would have laughed.

Maybe it's the inspiration I get from reading cases about HBS alumni who have gone on to found Staples or turn around Sears, but right now I feel that I can do anything. I will start right away, by building a business with two of my classmates to help people with disabilities. In five years, I plan to be married and have two insatiably curious children. Within ten years, I will join a nonprofit focused on bringing technology to underprivileged children as a board member or part-time volunteer.

Long term, there is so much more I want to do: learn French, run one marathon a year, see Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, track down my family's roots in Germany, build my dream house on a wooded lake in New England. Yet I will always make time to pass on the skills that I have developed and the knowledge I have learned. There are few things in life more satisfying than, after an hour spent teaching someone, to hear them say, "I got it."

— Paul Sternhell