I spent the summer on two coasts: the east coast of Africa (Kenya) and the west coast in the U.S. (Los Angeles). An HBS Community Impact Fund grant allowed me to travel to Nairobi in May to continue my work performed with the Volunteer Consulting Organization (VCO) during the school year. While in Nairobi, I worked and lived with the director (an Ashoka Fellow and World Bank grant recipient) of a Kenyan NGO called Enterprise Professional Services.
While in Kenya, I helped design and employ new projects to help their microfinance and oil recycling clients, who live and work primarily in Nairobi’s (and Africa’s) largest slums. The ingenuity and pride of the Kenyans I met in the wake of a heart-breaking bout of post-election violence, economic slump and ongoing drought was truly inspiring. The second half of my summer was indeed worlds away, as I worked in Hollywood with two HBS alumni as their third employee in a semi-stealth mode sports ticketing startup. Working closely with two HBS alums five and 10 years out of school also gave me great insight into my career path and options ahead. The nascent stage of the company allowed me to have unparalleled impact on the business model, product offerings, and deal sourcing of the business.