Article Review Essay

5897 Words Feb 6th, 2012 24 Pages
HBR CASE STUDY

How to Change the World
Alan Wilson has several career options but only one ambition – to make a difference.

by Howard H. Stevenson

Daniel Vasconcellos

LAN WILSON PEERED past his Atomics at the skiers whizzing by 20 feet below the chairlift. The sky had darkened, and a light, wind-whipped snow was falling, but the changing conditions certainly hadn’t deterred the diehards. He watched a young woman hurtle down the steep slope, poles and powder flying. He carefully adjusted his goggles. He hadn’t said much to his best friend, Karl, during their 10-minute ride together. Alan was feeling reflective. What was he going to do with his life now that some exciting new possibilities had opened up? People think it’s
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Alan pointed to the Dragon Chute, which appeared to be closer. They skied to the brink of the cliff. Bending his knees and pushing in his poles, Alan launched himself into the swirling snow with Karl following hard behind.

was when she’d given so much to others, not least by founding and running Help and Hope, now a well-established charity. He remembered the day they’d been told her cancer had spread; she had taken his hand, as if to comfort him. Her fingers were ice-cold. “Alan, darling, you are my gift to the world,” she had said. “You will make a bigger difference in it than I.” At the time, he’d been working flat out for the strategy consulting firm he’d joined out of business school, in its

Alan smiled. Good old Karl, ever the career counselor. He had gone a completely different route. Deciding to see how far his undergraduate degree in math could take him, he had chosen to forgo an MBA. Now he was making money hand over fist at a New York hedge fund, LSM Investments. Alan had a vague sense of what was coming. “Well, the thing about M&A is that every deal is different, so I’m still learning a lot,” he said. “I’ve been working on some big possibilities, including some

“You never struck me as a big-company guy. Are you really happy there? Challenged enough? And how about the money? Are they paying you what you’re worth?”

pharmaceutical industry practice. And international ones. If half of them come

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