Jia Jiang

MBA '09

Speaker and Author, Rejection Proof

What do you do professionally?

I am an author, entrepreneur and speaker. I also do blogging and video blogging. After I quit my corporate job in 2012, I started my own tech company and an entrepreneurial blog called 100 Days of Rejection. The blog gained a lot of publicity and landed me a book deal with Random House. Now I help people to overcome their fear of rejection and turn it into opportunities through the book, online courses and speaking at live events.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

I get to touch and even change people's lives using my own story. I constantly receive emails from strangers all over the world, and get to hear their stories. Also, it doesn't hurt that I can make my own schedule.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

The flip side of making my own schedule is that it is tough to keep work and personal life separate. It takes tons of discipline and routine to focus and be effective. Also, I don't get paid if I don't generate business income.

What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?

I've travelled all over the U.S. for speaking engagements, but my most favorite has to be Guatemala, a small country in Central America. They were not only interested in hearing my story, but also showed me around the country. The pyramids and ancient towns were amazing.

What is the best professional advice you've received?

Our very own Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Fuqua, told me to experiment with everything, including my own speeches. I gave my first speech at a small gathering, then iterated it at bigger and bigger events. Eventually, I gave my talk at TEDxAustin, and it became a hit.

Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?

I AM having my dream job. However, I will want to expand my company's offerings from information products to technology products. I want to use tech to help people overcome and embrace their fear.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Play sports, play with my kids, listen to books, and of course, watch Duke basketball. GTHC is my wifi password, but don't tell anyone please.

What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?

Relationships matter more than anything else. Also, think for yourself and don't follow the herd, which will only lead to a mediocre life.

Who was your favorite professor?

Dan Ariely, Shane Dikolli and Gavan Fitzsimons (triple duh!).

What is your favorite Fuqua memory?

Proposing to Tracy Xia at 2009 International Culture Talent Show. It quickly produced a blissful marriage and two little Blue Devil babies—Brian and Cameron.

What does Team Fuqua mean to you?

It means a mindset of collaboration and shared achievements. Through Fuqua, I learned there are so many smarter and more capable people than me. But as a team, we can achieve amazing things that none of us can do by ourselves. Even as an author, I build teams to help me market and promote books. I call them Rejection Ambassadors, and they amaze me every day.