Goodbye, San Francisco

It was a quick two years.

Quicker than I thought it would be. Since graduating from Chicago Booth, I’ve been lucky to call San Francisco my home. A place where I can walk out my front door, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and ride along the rocky cliffs of Marin. Where I can ski Lake Tahoe in winters and hike through Yosemite in summers. Where kitesurfing in Santa Cruz, kayaking in Tomales Bay, and drinking wine in Napa are all within an hour’s drive of my apartment. I knew San Francisco was the city for me, so when a consumer drone startup in Berkeley called 3D Robotics offered me a job the day before graduation, I accepted on the spot.

Living in San Francisco appealed to me for many reasons. Like New York or Chicago, San Francisco attracts ambitious people who are eager to grow their professional careers. Yet unlike those other cities, San Fran is surrounded by endless outdoor getaways, which in turn attracts people with a love for adventure and exploration. I knew this combination of nature and professional opportunity is exactly what I wanted in a city, and during the time I’ve lived here, SF has delivered on both fronts.

After a year of helping 3DR build out its drone operations, Apple hired me to manage the iPad Display supply chain. Both companies taught me how to be an effective operator, but each in its own unique way. While 3DR forced me to be scrappy and get things done on a limited budget, Apple showed me how to manage a global supply chain serving hundreds of millions of customers. Working at Apple made for long hours and challenging work, but I always found time to see my friends on the weekend. Come Saturday morning, we’d speed across the Golden Gate Bridge in search of hiking trails that led to hidden beer gardens, or head East over the Bay Bridge to kitesurf the warm waters of Sherman Island. A new NorCal adventure awaited us around every corner – all we needed was a full tank of gas, a few granola bars, and the energy to get up and go.

San Francisco inspired me to become the best version of myself. Hidden dirt paths through the Presidio inspired me to start running – I’m on track to run 600 miles this year. Co-workers described storybook windy roads through Marin’s Redwood forests, so I bought a bike to start cycling. Spending time with my health-conscious friends motivated me to cook more and eat healthier. I said yes to nearly every invitation that came my way, and people said yes to mine. San Francisco is a city filled with Yes People – people who jump at the opportunity to explore a new place, be active, be outside. They will always try something new, even if it scares them a little. I certainly self-selected into these types of friend groups, but point is, they were pretty easy to find.

After two years of growing my career, establishing my friend group, and improving my physical and mental health, I felt like I had finally built a quality life for myself in San Francisco. Everything had somehow fallen into place, and I was happier than I’d been in a long time. I thought to myself – this is home.

And just as I had that thought, a Boston-based private equity firm offered me a job. An incredible job, one I couldn’t say no to. So I said Yes.

I never expected to leave California so soon. But life brings constant change, and I believe the best way to keep growing is to embrace that change. Saying goodbye is bittersweet – I’m thrilled to be starting a new job with an incredible firm, and delighted that my parents are now within driving distance. But I am heartbroken to leave San Francisco, a city that has given me so much. I became the best version of myself in California, but that doesn’t mean I can only be my best version in one place. Now that I’ve learned what lifestyle keeps me happy and motivated, I’m excited to create my new life in Boston. Kite surfing on the Cape, hiking in the White Mountains, and skiing in Vermont are all within driving distance of my new front door. All I need is the energy to get up and go.

So for now, goodbye San Francisco. You made me laugh. You made me cry. You taught me to eat healthier, to be more active, to say Yes more. You gave me an incredible group of friends. You gave me a best friend. For these things and many, many more, I will forever be indebted to your beautiful city. I promise to come visit you often, my friend.