After spending a summer serving in war-torn east Africa, where I slept in a tent for two of the three months I was there; I returned to the United States to embark upon a law education. Far less adventurous and for me difficult to be passionate about, I struggled my first year of law school. Though I passed the first semester of courses by the skin of my teeth, my grade point average was quite discouraging for someone thinking to make a career practicing law.
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Thankfully, it took a few months for our second semester final exams to be graded and posted. I therefore in good faith pursued an international law internship and summer program at the University of Hong Kong. Situated atop lovely Victorian Peak, I dived deeper into academia and international law.
What was unique about those three months in Hong Kong during the summer of 1995 was that the British government was still ruling. Upon taking a trip to the high court, I saw Chinese judges wear white British style wigs. It was a funny and rare site to behold.
My passion in particular was helping oppressed people in forgotten nations where their human rights were being violated. Unfortunately I learned from my law professor in Hong Kong that international treaties to uphold human rights are rarely enforced by the United Nations or anyone else globally. For me that further diminished the relevance of international law and my interest in studying it.
In those days a particular religious group smuggled Bibles across from Hong Kong into Shenzhen, China. I was asked to participate, which I did. That day of smuggling Bibles was far more exciting than my entire summer buried in law books in Hong Kong.
Many people try to start businesses. And there are those who try to climb mountains. There appears to be connections for the people who are passionate about both [see Ten Steps to the Top]. The ones who are good at both say that learning the skills to do one can help with the other.
Ascending the summit of entrepreneurial success doesn't necessarily happen in the classroom. Though huddling for studies at the Entrepreneurial Studies Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler provides a good base camp.
After a notable career, Randy Myer, Professor of the Practice of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, decided to return to the business school of his alma mater nine years ago to share his entrepreneurial experiences. His students give him high marks for his thoughtful teaching of Entrepreneurial Marketing and Business Plan Analysis. What they might not realize is his coaching in the classroom of key lessons learned have roots built on a very solid and rugged foundation through his passion for mountain climbing.
"Months of training in order to climb Mount McKinley and Aconcagua with a carefully selected team reinforced my desire for independence and to have control of my own destiny, " stated Randy Myer. "So I left partnership at Booz Allen Hamilton to start my own company."