In June 2016, GQ featured my life in “Mr. Miss Universe,” telling the story of how I went from Stanford to Yale Law School to a double track life as an M&A attorney at the nation’s top law firm while training women to win the Miss Universe pageant. While the article omitted many of the juiciest details around my deep personal struggles with eating nothing but kale and chia seeds for two days before a “cut” and my thrilling adventures with every standardized test imaginable (you don’t even want to know what I did during my GMAT), it did capture some choice philosophies I derived from from my mentor at Yale Law—the original Tiger Mother herself, Amy Chua.
[Jeff was m]ultitalented, with more energy and drive than almost anybody I’d ever seen. [read: he definitely did not sit at the cool table]
I DOn’T tAkE mySeLF ToO SeRiOUSly […bUT mY inSTAGraM IS SACRED]
My corporate clients have described me as “intense / talkative.” My classmates at Stanford Business generally use the term “overeducated / weird [that’s hurtful, guys].” My business school professors frequently don’t care enough to have an adjective, but obviously wish I would not try to compare the Uber management structure to eusocial insects (hey, if you didn’t make participation 40% of the grade, I’d just sleep in the back the way I did at Yale).
When I went for my 5000th graduate degree, Stanford Business asked me what matters most to me. I would’ve said the acquisition of credentials, but that would’ve been a lie (although I do have a JD, AJP and NP, and am working on an MBA and CPT). No, these days what matters most to me, besides my precious precious Instagram and the obnoxious social media presence I’ve created with it, is doing it right. I don’t half-ass my merger agreements and SEC filings, I don’t cut corners when I train women for Miss Universe, I don’t miss flaws when I’m evaluating Sri Lankan sapphires, I don’t accept excuses when I take you to the gym and I don’t finish until I get perfection.
I hope to bring that philosophy with me when I pursue my next 300 professional degrees, including a master’s in aromatherapy, witchcraft college and advanced gluten-only GMO-based baking.