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Getting There

A Book of Mentors

By Gillian Zoe Segal
12-minute read
Audio available
Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal

Getting There (2015) provides inspiring portraits of successful entrepreneurs, artists, writers and CEOs who through hard work and perseverance pursued their true passions against all odds. This collection of first-person stories aims to show how you too can “get there” and live your dreams.

  • Entrepreneurs starting their own business
  • Young people deciding what to do with their future
  • Anyone at the start of an ambitious project

Gillian Zoe Segal started a career in law before pursuing her true passion of photography. She wrote Getting There to showcase stories of people who took risks and worked hard to live their dreams. Her writing has appeared in Forbes and the New York Times.

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Getting There

A Book of Mentors

By Gillian Zoe Segal
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal
Synopsis

Getting There (2015) provides inspiring portraits of successful entrepreneurs, artists, writers and CEOs who through hard work and perseverance pursued their true passions against all odds. This collection of first-person stories aims to show how you too can “get there” and live your dreams.

Key idea 1 of 7

The child of a successful engineer follows his own path to become dean of Harvard Business School.

Did you look up to your parents as a child? Many of us did and still do. It’s not uncommon for people to even follow in the footsteps of their parents when it comes to a career.

That’s exactly what Harvard Business School dean Nitin Nohria set out to do.

Nohria had a great role model in his father. Born in a humble village in India where few had access to education, Nohria’s father was one of the first to graduate from high school. He then studied abroad, and once back in India, built upon his engineering degree to become the CEO of a major company.

Hoping to make his father proud, Nohria too pursued a degree in engineering, yet struggled with poor grades at school. The reason for this was a passion for literature that consumed most of his time.

Nohria’s grades in his university science classes continued to be average, but he excelled in elective courses – history, literature and economics.

This got him thinking that his path perhaps didn’t lie with engineering after all. So he decided to try his luck in a new direction. Excitingly, he received a fellowship to study finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Nohria then packed up and moved to the United States.

Once at MIT, Nohria unsurprisingly excelled in his humanities classes. Inspired by his successes, he switched to a degree in management, ultimately completing a doctorate in the subject.

The crowning moment of all his hard work came when he was offered the position of dean at the Harvard Business School.

Nohria believes he’s lived the American dream. Like his father before him, he never stopped working to create new opportunities. And though he might not have followed his father’s exact path, Nohria is glad to have had such a mentor in his life.

Unfortunately, not all parents inspire their children in the same way. However, this doesn’t mean that these children can’t achieve great things on their own.

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