Today, I feel I’m home. But I wandered for a long time and traveled really far to get here.
Circa October 2004, Atlanta, GA — my love affair with Apple started when I held my first iPod in my hands. The simplicity of its design and purity of its aesthetics were captivating. While at school, I saved up $300 from my summer internship to acquire this prized possession. With up to 5000 songs in my pocket, the possibilities seemed endless and the world, a tad bit better.
Over the next decade, with every new Apple product that I used and the stories I heard about its obsession with details, even those details that no one would ever see, my world-view of “how to create products that deliver joy” was formed, through Apple’s lens.
Whether it was designing the MVP or the office decor, Apple’s influence was everywhere. I always asked myself “how would Apple do this?” and that question alone often inspired me to push the boundaries further.
So naturally, when in 2016, I was offered a role at Apple in India, I was over the moon. When another more challenging role presented itself, I made the difficult decision of foregoing this opportunity to work for the company I admired so much. While I’m more in the camp of “appreciate everything and regret nothing”, this decision really tested my belief.
Coming to Stanford to explore my next adventure was a dream come true. Another dream was to be part of a mission that aligns with my purpose and values.
When I serendipitously encountered Tim Cook at the Apple store in New York, he was extremely kind and gracious. Other than immediately posting my fanboy moment on Instagram, I walked away wondering — how amazing would it be to join an organization led by such a leader.
Fast forward, August 2020, and life came full circle. I found a role that brought together my passion for “using tech and data to deliver joy” and an inspiring mission at Apple.
With support from my amazing friends at Apple and a bit of good luck, I got the role. I felt grateful and privileged to have the opportunity to go to work with people who make products that empower millions around the world to dream, create, and deliver joy.
Today is my first day at Apple. I can’t help but feel that I’m home, and still in love.
DISCLAIMER: This article represents solely my personal views. It does not represent the views of any organization. It does not represent any confidential information.
Amit Rawal is a Sloan Fellow at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He has spent the last decade building and scaling e-commerce ventures for 40%+ of the world’s population. At Stanford, he is focused on bringing together tech, design, and data to create joyful shopping experiences. He is a data geek and loves tracking all kinds of health and wellness metrics. He can be reached at email@example.com.