I’ve long believed that anyone who emigrates to another country is more open-minded and resilient than the average person. After all, it requires a strong mind to swap certainty for confusion, and to farewell your family, friends and social networks.

The wonderful Barsha Karki, the 211th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, is a case in point.

When Barsha was in her early twenties, she moved from Nepal to Sydney to do her masters. Her parents covered her first semester, but Barsha then had to find $10,000 per semester to pay for university, on top of her rent and daily living expenses. So when Barsha wasn’t studying, she was forced to work long hours and live very frugally. That’s what you do when you’re an open-minded, resilient person who wants to build a better life.

After completing her Master of Engineering Studies course, Barsha took an engineering role at a telco, with the assumption her career would continue along this technical path. A few years later, though, a recruiter sounded her out about a pre-sales role. The idea of selling felt alien to somebody who just wanted to work behind the scenes. But Barsha was open to learning and to new experiences. So she took the job.

Almost a decade later, Barsha has built a successful career in pre-sales. Barsha is a perfect fit for this sort of role: she’s got the technical knowledge to help clients solve problems as well as the confident, friendly demeanour that would make clients want to work with her.

One of the biggest lessons Barsha has learned from being in pre-sales is to have the courage to ask for things – because the other party might just say yes.

Most of us are too scared to ask for what we want. But when you’re open-minded and resilient, you’re willing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.