Talk with Kimberly Jenkins

Brendan Quinlan/ June 3, 2013/ 2013

Last Friday, we had the privilege of listening to the founder of our program Kimberly Jenkins share some of her stories and insight. One of the clearest messages that shone through this meeting was the significance and importance of connecting the dots between your career and your passions.

The meeting started promptly after our usual case based class with Matt Christensen. Kimberly opened with a video of the TED Talk that she gave. In the talk she described her experience at Microsoft. She shared with us that she had a passion for education. Kimberly also saw that there was a great opportunity for Microsoft in education. Up to this point Microsoft was not focused upon this market. Kimberly knew that a choice had to be made when she approached her boss with a problem, a solution and 2 manila envelopes; one containing a proposal for how Microsoft could enter the education market and the other containing her letter of resignation. Kimberly stressed the importance of approaching your boss not only with a problem but a solution to that problem. The people at Microsoft saw the passion and courage that Kimberly had to take such a risk and to go after her vision. She received the go ahead from Bill Gates for the project with certain conditions. I would say that upon hearing this story, like Mr. Gates, I was struck by Kimberly’s intensity to pursue her passions.

As I learned more about Kimberly this quality was magnified. Kimberly shared with us that she was an avid mountain climber. This being said, she decided to move across the country to Seattle to pursue her passion. This empowering story demonstrated Kimberly’s ability to make strategic decisions that were aliened with her dreams. As a young woman at that beginning of my career, it is truly inspirational to see someone like Kimberly who has accomplished so much both in her career and life. She has encouraged us to pursue our passions and to connect the dots between our careers and those passions. Kimberly you have inspired me to believe that no dream is too crazy to fight for and that no mountain is too big to climb.

Wilhelmina Ryan, Duke 2015

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