Ma Yun applied to study at Harvard 10 times and was rejected each time.
Yun had to deal with rejection many times in his life: born during Mao’s Cultural Revolution when schools and businesses were being destroyed, such that formal education and trade was at a low in China during Yun‘s youth.
He failed the entry exams for colleges in China several times and was also rejected for many jobs in China, including one at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Despite this, at an early age, Yun had developed a desire to learn English, so he rode his bike for 45 minutes each morning in order to go to a nearby hotel and converse with foreigners. He would guide them around the city for free in order to practice and improve his English. Later in his youth, although he failed the entrance exam twice, he attended Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute and graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Yun — his English name, Jack — Jack Ma started an e-commerce company in his apartment in 1999….