"I've known pain you've never felt before" - Sam Isaly
To anyone who has their hopes down on breaking into the industry, you should know about the legend Sam Isaly. He's a managing partner for the $7B aum fund OrbiMed which has bragging rights for the largest healthcare-dedicated investment firm in the world. If you don't know, OrbiMed is absolutely the top notch fund in the healthcare space. Every healthcare banker and sell-side analyst daydreams about working there come recruiting season. They run strategies from PE, VC, long-short, and even Eaton Vance's Worldwide Health Science fund.
But what's so special about this guy? A quick look at Isaly's profile reads Princeton, LSE, Merill Lynch, Chase, Legg Mason. What's so non-target about that?
Well, he's been a paraplegic ever since a wrestling accident in high school. To add insult to injury, Yale even withdrew his admission after the accident. With an injured spine, he lost control of his legs and had to re-teach himself to use his arms. At the time, Princeton didn't have ramps, so Isaly needed his classmates to haul him up the stairs. To this day, Isaly can barely use his right arm, and scribbles his notes by holding a pen using his fingers like a pair of chopsticks. If you think you're getting unfairly judged, think about how much prejudice was against this guy! His interviewers would immediately disqualify him because of the wheelchair.
But Isaly doesn't want your pity. He became the first student in a wheelchair to graduate from Princeton. He won a Fulbright scholarship and got a masters at LSE. He wakes early enough to check the Asian market at 6am. He works 12 - 18 hours a day. He averaged 20% returns these past 2 decades. And He runs the best healthcare fund on the street.
So if you're still feeling down about not getting in, I hope this man brings you some inspiration. I've never seen a person so driven before. He's my hero for sure.