“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I’m all too familiar with not fitting in.

It started when I was young. Coming from a Filipino-Japanese-Caucasian family, I’ve never known anyone who looks like my brother and me.

It got harder as a teenager. Never “one of the boys,” I was always the last pick for sports teams. I worried that my “gay” mannerisms were to blame.

Call it coming out, call it simply getting more comfortable with myself. All I remember is one day, after years of trying to fit in, I looked myself in the mirror and realized: I’m proud to be different.

When you sit outside categories and boxes, at the crossroads of varied identities, seeing things from multiple perspectives is natural for you. You learn to empathize with outsiders of all types, and more importantly, your experience with difference helps you connect with people and make sure they feel welcome.

As I graduate from HBS, I’m not picking a typical path. To many, a career in HR sounds uninteresting and unambitious. But to me, it’s exactly where I need to be: to go to the frontlines of inclusion and diversity work, to create a new wave of corporate culture where everyone feels celebrated not just for their sameness, but for their differences too.

And if that’s not fitting in, I’m okay with it.

— Jason Brown