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  • Writer's pictureThe Rivers School

The Last Day

In our last day in San Francisco, the group went to Locust Walk in Mission Bay for a presentation from biotech venture capitalist Chris Ehrlich 88’. He pitched the possibilities in the biotech industry, and how one does not have to be amazing in math or science to be successful, but can instead offer value on the business side. Mr. Ehrlich brings the product from its idea stage, all the way to its IPO (Initial Public Offering) if it is successful.

Oftentimes, the product does not succeed, but the ones that do are revolutionary in the area of healthcare. He stresses the motto of “doing well by doing good.” This means that it is important to be successful by means of benefitting the world. For me, the most profound story he told was the day someone told a fellow investor he was eating lunch with that his investment had cured his blindness.

Overall, I think all of us gained some interest in this field and its impact on society. Next, Simon Walter ‘89 presented his sales role at LinkedIn, as well as his journey to this point in his career. He explained to us the power of LinkedIn, and how landing a job is often based more on your connections than your skills. That is not to say that skills are unimportant: the platform acts as a running online resume that one can update constantly.

After that, he talked about how his lifelong learning lends to his success; he stressed that a growth mindset prevents stagnation in life, and leads one to believe that they can achieve anything. Lastly, we had pizza and reflected on the trip. All of us agreed that the group changed our perception of possibilities in life for the better, and some of us even had a new desire to attend college on the West Coast. After pizza, the group left for the hotel to organize belongings and then embarked on one last free night in the city.

Most of us went to the Crissy Field to take in the view, as well as eat more In ’n Out. We then went to the Ghirardelli chocolate factory store to indulge in chocolate and shakes. Finally, we headed back to the hotel to catch the wild Duke-UNC game, and finished packing.

Ryan J.


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