Monthly Archives: August 2012

Move to New York If…

New York is not for the faint of heart. I mean, I sometimes I stop and think, why exactly am I making all these sacrifices to live in this city? Sure there’s great people, great food, amazing culture unrivaled by any other US city, and  fantastic scenery. In other words, there’s just so much to do in New York. It’s hard to get bored and it’s hard to get lonely. If you’re lonely in New York city, that just tells me you’re living under a rock. But really though, why move to New York? Is it really worth making all these sacrifices just so you can say you live in New York? What trade offs are we talking here?

I moved to New York because of a couple of reasons. And it’s more likely than not that you’re considering moving to New York or are in New York for the same reasons. 

  • I wanted to work in either tech, fashion, or finance. Seriously, what other city can boast that they are a hub for all these major industries? Oh yeah, that’s right. Nothing. 
  • I wanted to be in a truly diverse culture. New York, in my opinion, is the most melted social environment that I’ve ever experienced. Black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese… The list keeps going on. They’re all here.
  • I want to succeed among the bests. I want to challenge myself and compete with the best. 

You should move to New York if…

You’re willing make your career a priority

This sounds bad and might be construed as something not good, but when you move to New York, realize that the competition just tripled. The talent that the city attracts is amazing. And if you think that you’re just a number in the city, you’re probably right. Unless you’re already the CEO of a midwest oil company expanding operations to the east coast to take advantage of European business opportunities, then you’re not yet really a significant contributor to the city. Sucks, but that’s the reality. I’ve met Merrill Lynch employees who are working entry level, graduates of top schools like University of Virginia, George Washington University, and University of Michigan, who are working menial, low-paying jobs that don’t really need a college degree either as a way to supplement their pay or because they just can’t get any work. Tough is an understatement. You will get kicked in the gut left and right, but you’ve got to keep pushing. Eventually, though, as I’ve learned, you’ll start picking things up and life will slowly get better. It’s a learning curve, so pick it up fast. 

You want to be the best

When you’re bruised and battered from all hardships, just remember that it’s all part of the ride. Because when you’ve reached your destination, you’ll smile and realizing that the past was the best thing you never want to do again. I think I’ve emphasized enough how competitive New York city is. That 3.8 GPA that you have from Yale? Impressive but there’s 100 others like you. It’s always good to keep aiming to be the best and I think New York is the best of the best. Chances are, you won’t be the best in your field. But at least that way, when you fall short of your goal, you’re still able to achieve something remarkable. That’s what I like about New York – the best are the Michael Bloombergs, the Justin Timberlakes, and the Stephen Schwarzmans but those who fall short of being the best are still managing partners at Goldman, or founded some small tech company that raised a $4 million round of funding. 

You value having a social life

I just realized, when I moved to New York, that the 40-hour workweek is almost non-existent. Most, if not all of my peers are working anywhere from 50 hours – 100 hours a week. The average being around 60 hours a week. Despite such long hours, people here are still able to have time to hang out with friends and socialize. Working 60 hours/week is going to burn you out pretty quick. And thus, you’ll need time to let loose and enjoy a bit. Especially if you’re like me, 22, single, male. Guy like myself have party as our middle name. You’ll never be lonely in New York. You will easily find people you’re can relate with and find friends pretty easily. It’s expensive though and you’re going to learn that the moment you step foot here. Pre-gaming will be a common term in your vocabulary. 

If you can’t make sacrifices, you won’t make it in New York. Heck, you won’t even be able to get here. Sacrifices are tough but it’s also a way to weed out all the incompetent people. Case in point – I lived out of an air mattress for the first 5 weeks when I got here and I’m still trying to find a place to live. Like I said, it’s really tough, but when you see value and progression in what you’re doing, then it’s worth it. If you’re 22, young, single, with no kids – take the leap. This is the only time in your life where you can take risks and get away with it. 

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The 80-20 Principle Revisited

It’s been a great few days. My theory works. The shock and awe idea that I originally theorized from a previous blog post actually works. I knew this day would come; it was only a matter of time. I recently received an offer to work as an intern for Offerpop, a New York City based start-up. Offerpop is a software-as-a-service company that provides marketers and brand managers an easy to use platform to create campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to that, I also received a temp offer to work for a proxy firm    in Midtown Manhattan. Things have finally been falling into place and I’m really glad that my hard work is starting to pay off. Allow me to tell my story. 

Shock and Awe

The first step for me, was to research a bunch of web 2.0 media companies in NYC. There’s a lot of them here in NYC. New York really has fast growing tech talent pool and I’m sure this is just the beginning. After all, NYC is a hub for finance, fashion, and media. After doing my research and looking up companies that I feel like I was going to be a good fit for, I looked up their addresses. Offerpop is one of those companies. Using my Shock and Awe theory, I decided to take things to differently. I talked about how I created a cover letter using Power Point, and that worked like magic. This time, I decided to literally walk up to the office of the start-up of my choosing and speak to whoever is in charge. At the very least, my goal is just to drop off my resumé. But of course, I would at least like to speak to people who are in charge and introduce myself as a qualified and sharp candidate.

The very first office that I walked into was Offerpop. I came up to the office manager, Nicole, and handed my resumé. I told her that I’m really interested in the company and would like to be considered for the biz dev position. 10 minutes after introducing myself, I was having a conversation with the head recruiter and was arranging a meeting for an interview. Unfortunately, the biz dev position was not open anymore but luckily, they still had an internship position open. Internships are great feeders into the position that you desire. It’s very simple really, do an awesome job as an intern, as if you’re getting paid, and make damn sure that they would regret not having you on board. That’s the next step as I just got confirmation that I got the position for the Business Development Internship. The position is unpaid but like what I’ve said, I’m more than willing to work for free in order to prove myself worthy. You see, internships are great ways to really stand out. Since the position is unpaid, your supervisors don’t really have high expectations regarding your performance. And that’s exactly why you should work harder, smarter, and more enthusiastic than everyone else. Like Zappos, you want to under promise but over deliver. That’s the goal and I’m certainly making my way there. 

To be Continued

Part 3 of this post will be continued as soon as the internship concludes, which should be by the end of October or mid November. Right now, I’m keeping myself busy by working part-time doing other gigs that bring in some money. Apart from all the things that I’ve said, there’s only 3 things that I want you to remember at the end. 

1. Research and qualify prospective companies where you will fit in well and companies that would consider you as an asset. Look for companies that you’re really interested and passionate about.

2. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, use guerrilla marketing tactics. Use the shock and awe principle. Remember, the first impression is the most important. Don’t mess it up! Be creative and think of ways to stand out as a candidate the moment you introduce yourself. 

3. Show your passion, hunger, and ambition. Nothing is more appealing than a person who is passionate. Your passion will get you through, no doubt about it. If you’re really passionate, it will show. 

I’d love to help out in anyway possible. I’m no expert, but I’ve gotten results. If you think there’s something I can help you out with, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Cheers!

My Take on the College Experience

College is incredibly fun. Not only that, but it’s also a time to find yourself. I remember just graduating from high school and feeling like a lost duck out in the pond. When I got to college, I was still looking for direction. I mean, I knew what I wanted in life, I just wasn’t too clear on what path I would be willing to take on how to get there.

Recently, there’s been a lot of controversy regarding the sky rocketing student debt situation. A lot of people, college graduates especially, have been feeling disgruntled about the education they have received.

I’m not here to talk about the trade-offs of going to college vs. not going. I’m here simply to give my personal insights about what I think about higher education. What it’s really like from the perspective of an actual student and what it’s like getting out of college, often times with debts that make you feel like a walking junk bond. I want high school students and current college students to read this article and really evaluate their stay in school.

Numbers Matter 

The truth is, the most difficult courses are often the ones that get jobs the fastest. In my experience, the majors that received instant job offers were Finance, Marketing, any Engineering course, and Accounting. What do all of these majors have in common? They’re all math based. Almost all of my friends who graduated with degrees from these fields got job offers before even graduating. Granted, though, that I went to UT Austin where the business school is top 10 in the nation, the engineering is top 5 in the nation, and the accounting program is ranked no.1 in the country. But looking at the facts, these degrees are also the most in demand degrees, perhaps because of their relative difficulty with respect to non-math based courses. My point is, if you want an offer before you graduate, major in one of these courses.

Decide What You Want

College is a time to find yourself. Yes that’s true, but time is ticking. The moment you start your freshman year, try to find the right degree for you and don’t waste any more time. Delaying this will cost you. As soon as you find something that’s right for you, stick with it. Changing degrees will brand you as a shifter, someone who just changes courses left and right. You don’t want to be a shifter.

Internships are Vital

Every summer, make damn sure that if you are:

A.) Taking summer classes

B.) Studying abroad

C.) Doing internships/valuable work  experience

Sorry to say but if you want to get ahead of the curve, you’re not going to have a ton of time basking away in the summer sun every year. We all have to make sacrifices and this is part of it. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. One summer, I spent 1 month doing an internship, another month traveling in Spain, and the last month just preparing for the school year ahead and having a good time.

Make sure you spend your summers wisely. Any menial, pointless job like waiting tables or cash registering are all a waste of time. And besides, you could so do better than that.

A Word of Advice

Above all, have fun. College won’t be college without all the parties, football games, friends, dinners, festivals etc. Remind yourself that the reason that you’re in college is because you need to study, get good grades, and land the career you want. Anything else is secondary, but essential. I say this because we’re all social beings. We need the love and affection that our friends can give us. Make sure you join different organizations – fraternities, sororities, football club, math club, whatever. Just make sure you’re part of a group where you feel welcomed and supported. Your college friends will be your network for the rest of your life, so choose and qualify wisely. And last but not least, you have 4 amazing years to prepare for a brutal and cruel world out there. Don’t take it for granted and use your time wisely.

College graduation is bittersweet, it’s like realizing that Santa Claus was never real when you were a child. Amazing things in life expire.
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Realistic Budget for a 22 yr. College Graduate in New York

New York is expensive. It sucks but hey, someone’s got to pay for all these amenities. Statue of Liberty? Yes. Bars, clubs, and tons of amazing people? Sure. History, culture, and entertainment? Definitely. It’s no joke living here when you look at the cost of living. But realize that New York is probably the most diverse city in America. I’ve met people from every continent in the world, with the exception of Antartica, and that’s what makes this city so amazing. For college graduates who are just moving to the city, here’s what you can expect to pay for living in the Big Apple.

Rent – On the low end around $800/month/room. High end around $1500/month/room. These are realistic budgets for someone who has an average salary, so if you’re a making loads, then living in NYC won’t be a problem. Also, a rent of $800-1000 is very unlikely in Manhattan. If you see some on Craigslist, that’s probably a scam or someone trying to spam you. Occasionally you will see some cheap rooms in Manhattan, but they will most likely be in pretty run down areas like Chinatown, Washington Heights, or Harlem. At $1200, your room will be a slight step up, but it’s nothing crazy. Expect a room of about 13′ x 9′. Smaller rooms will probably be more common for a lower price range.

Food – Food in New York is crazy expensive. This includes not just Manhattan, but all the boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx etc. You will not be able to escape the high food prices of New York, beware. For instance, in Austin, TX you can get a burrito and drink at Chipotle for around $7.50. In New York, the same meal will cost in excess of $10. Expect to spend around $350 – $600/month on food. $350 if you don’t eat very often and you eat in cheaper restaurants and go to groceries for food. $600 if you eat out in a fast casual type of restaurant each day and occasionally in a sit down restaurant. I personally spend around $400-450 each month because I go out and have dinners every weekend.

Transportation – The cost of a monthly metro card is $104. Cabs can cost anywhere from $5 – $20. I try to take the subway as much as I can but when it’s 3 am and your feet are killing you from partying all night, it’s very tempting to get a cab. Most party places are below the Midtown area. Lower East Side, East Village, and Meatpacking District are great places to go out. If you live near any of these places, you’re golden man.

Entertainment – The only kind of entertainment for me is going out to party, drinking in bars, and having dinner in a good restaurant. I haven’t really gone to any major museums, or seen movies, or gone to any touristy attractions. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in just having a good time partying, then I can help you out. For starters, you’re going to want to pre-game at some bars. Again, depending on the area, prices are going to vary, but I normally go to lower key bars in good areas like NYU. A local beer would cost around $5-$6 while imported beers are around $7. Mixed drinks would probably be around $9. If you’re on a tight budget, head out to your local liquor store and buy a 1 liter bottle of Jim Beam (for example) for around $12. Pre-game at your apt. with friends then head out to the club/bar. Happy hours are great, but they’re called happy hour for a reason, demand is low, and therefore prices are low. Club entrance can set you back anywhere from $10-$40. Pacha will charge you $30-$40. Lavo is another great place that’s expensive to get in. Rarely do I spend money just to get inside a club. It’s pretentious and it’s just a waste of money.

In Summary

At the bare minimum, you should expect to have $2000/month for all your necessities. Although I can do it with $1800/month. Living in NYC isn’t too bad. It’s just a matter of being creative and finding ways to get what you want. There’s 8.5 million people living here. Yes there are a lot of homeless people but if you’ve got your head straight, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t afford to have $2000/month, especially if you’re a college graduate.

The 80-20 Principle Applied in Job Searching

One of the most important principles that I, along with many others, adhere to is the 80-20 principle. I can’t emphasize enough how magical and powerful this principle is. I think that understanding it further will allow you to not only enhance your work but be as efficient as possible as well.

For those who have read my story, many of you know that I moved to New York City not too long ago with virtually nothing but a backpack and 2 suitcases. I moved here with a handful of contacts and nothing more. It sucks but it’s also an adventure. Since moving here, I’ve constantly been looking for work. In the 4 weeks of my job search I’ve been somewhat successful. Let me explain. When I came to NY, I had 1 interview lined up. That interview was for an internet start-up and it was for an inside sales position. I was attracted to the company because of its youth, vibrancy and enthusiasm. Nonetheless, that interview was unsuccessful. I guess the people there just didn’t see me as a good fit. Fast forward 3 weeks later and I’ve gone to about 10 interviews. Numerous applications were sent, hours were spent talking on the phone, and endless resumé, cover letters, and emails were revised.

Out of all the interviews that I went to, 1 company offered me a position. The company was an internet start-up as well and it was for a business development position. I realized it wasn’t the best fit for me because it was a really small start-up and the environment was more senior for someone like myself. I wrestled with the idea of working there and thought that if I was compensated a decent amount, then I would consider it, but the compensation was sub-par at best.

Beware of Craigslist Jobs

I decided to just take a random sales job on Craigslist (really bad idea) to make money while I continued my job search. That was an absolute train wreck, to say the least. I ended up working for a MLM a.k.a Pyramid Scheme company. I stayed there for 2 weeks and realized it was time to go. The position was completely commission based, and we had to sell products door-to-door. I was told by someone that if I was ever offered to work for a company that was purely commission based, stay away.  It is not in their best interest for you to succeed. All they want is for you to work like an animal so they can make more money. It’s a win-win for them and a lose-lose for you. We had to work 11 hours/day, 6 times a week for a measly $400-$600/week. Don’t get me wrong, I would gladly work hard, long hours if I have to, but I would have to really believe in what I was doing. It took me 2 weeks to get out because I made really good friends with the people I was working with. We were all in the same boat – new to the city, looking for a job, and very eager to just get out and work.

What I’ve Learned

Out of all the applications that I’ve sent, the most important lesson that I’ve learned is this – Shock and Awe.

The only time I was successful in my job search was when I did things that were out of this world, borderline crazy if you will, and something that jumped out of the page. And mind you, I did them well.

 Contact The Right People

The right people can be anyone from the recruiter, the  CEO, managing partner, director of sales etc. It just has to be directly related with the position you’re applying for.

Know Exactly What You Want

Know what industry you want to get into and know what position you want to apply for and why. Once that’s narrowed down, look for all the prospective companies that fit your list. Trust me, the last thing recruiters want is a generic applicant who just wants a job.

Make Yourself Dazzle

Why you? What’s so special about you? Remember, you’re competing with people smarter than you, more skilled than you, and probably more experienced as well. In my case, one company was asking for a “creative cover letter”. So I went ahead and made a powerpoint of my experiences and at the end of the letter was a guarantee. I would work for free until I can produce the necessary results. If that wasn’t accomplished, then that means I don’t deserve to be in the company. Shortly after sending this cover letter, I went for an interview and was offered the position in about 1 week.

Be Hungry, Enthusiastic, and Excited

I’ve always really wanted to work for an internet start-up because I’m always excited about technology. The internet is a such a powerful tool and I want to be a part of that. I also enjoy the fact that internet start-ups are breeding grounds for creativity and talent. You get to meet really bright and creative people who think outside the box. People are always on their toes and always finding ways to solve problems. Likewise, I’m just a really big fan of what start-ups have created. Start-ups have created real world applications that are fun, nimble, and ever-changing. Wouldn’t you want to be part of Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter? I sure do.

A Final Note

Realize that if you sincerely show enthusiasm in a company as if it is your own country competing in the olympics, things will slowly fall into place. And if a company is not willing to listen or work with you despite showing ambition, gumption, and hunger, then the company is probably not the best fit for you. It’s a blessing in disguise, I guarantee you.

* I decided not to mention any of the companies I applied for, worked for, or interviewed with in order to avoid stepping on any toes. 

This post will be continued. I’m not entirely where I want to be yet and I want it to be known that I’m still working on it. This post will be updated as soon as desires are accomplished. Also, principles of this post were derived from Tim Ferris’ 4Hour Work Week and Ramit Sethi.


From shayletslovebleedred.tumblr.com

The Struggles of a College Graduate

Recently, I read an article saying that the unemployment rate for college graduates is above 50%. In addition to that, there’s more college graduates who are underemployed. That’s just astonishing. Realizing that 1 out of 2 people who get out of college is going to be wandering aimlessly without a job. It’s saddening but that’s reality. I personally have a job. But it’s exactly just that – a job. I’m looking for a career. Work that will satisfy my basic needs plus a bit more. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, once our most basic needs are met, we start longing for something more out of it. Otherwise, I could just go to the nearest restaurant and get a job as a server and make a decent amount to just keep me afloat.

The Biggest Challenges College Graduates Face 

1. Finding a career – College graduates stick to their first jobs out of college for about 1-2 years. That tells me that they’re still searching for what really fits for them.

2. Longing for new friends – Depending on your situation, you’ll start looking for your new circle of friends after college. Not every one of your college buddies is going to stay behind with you. That said, it becomes necessary to find your family away from home. In my case, being miles away from Texas and having absolutely no contacts in New York City was quite daunting. Nevertheless, I knew it wouldn’t be much of a problem as I make new friends rather fast.

3. Getting used to serious financial and personal obligations – Back in college, there were no payments needed. Good grades was more than enough. But now that college is over, one needs to start worrying about taxes, insurance, car payments, student loan payments, credit card payments, rent, utilities etc. The list can go on and on and it gets very daunting. I’ve found a very simple solution to this, though. My solution is simple – live as if you’re still in college until you’re comfortable meeting the necessary obligations.

In my particular case:

  • I don’t have car payments
  • I don’t have student loans
  • I’m covered under my parents’ insurance plan until I’m 26
  • Taxes will be dealt with in April 2013
  • I pay my credit card bill in full every month to build good credit and rack up points
  • I’m still living rent free courtesy of my parents, until I can cover rent on my own.

Embrace the Chaos and Live for the Experience

I speak on behalf of the millions of the college graduates who are in their own personal struggles at this very moment. But what makes life so great is seeing ourselves overcome each hurdle and succeed. I have no doubt in my mind, that this challenge will pass and I will move on to greener pastures. Things will be better, it just takes a bit of patience, persistence, and hard work. What makes success so sweet is realizing how our efforts and hard work paid off. It’s the journey not the destination.

There’s Life After College Part II

It’s been exactly 4 weeks since I left Austin, Texas for New York City. I’m not going to lie, I’m very homesick. I never realized how much I love Austin and my school, the University of Texas, after leaving and realizing that the next time I ever set foot on the campus that we call the 40 acres, I will be an alumni.

I guess it’s always hard for college students to graduate because college is one of the best years of our lives. I don’t know about you, but I certainly had an amazing time at UT. From here on out, the eyes of Texas are upon me and I will live up to the great name of Texas. I love New York – the fast paced lifestyle, bright lights, and amazing people. But one thing is for sure, Texas will always be close to my heart. Hook ’em!

What My Life Was Like in College

College was amazing. Plain and simple. An average day would be described as follows.

8 am – wake up, shower, and get ready for class.

9 am – eat breakfast, check e-mail

9.15 am – off to class

9.30 to 11 am – class time

11 to 12 – break

12 to 3 pm – back to back classes

3 to 5 pm – review notes, do homework, try finish any major duties for the week

5 pm – head back to the house (fraternity house)

6 pm – Dinner

7 pm onwards – happy time. I’m either with friends, working out at the gym, drinking at a bar, or just dickin’ around (excuse my french).

Being in a fraternity made things so much more fun. Parties, traditions, events, formals, everything was just great.

During the fall semester we would have a couple of major events that a lot of people look forward to.

  • First we have the football season kick-off. Every single home game would be celebrated with tailgates all over the stadium. It’s absolutely manic.
  • In October we have the Texas vs. OU game. Our biggest rival in the Big 12. The game is held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX.
  • Also in October is the Austin City Limits music festival. ACL is the largest music festival in Austin. 100,000 people flock to Zilker park for 3 days of great music
  • In November, major parties around West Campus. West Campus is where the majority of UT college students reside in. During the 3rd of 4th week of November, fraternities hold major parties that have now become a yearly tradition.
  • In December, there’s Christmas formal. Christmas is the greatest time of the year and everyone in Austin loves to celebrate this season.

All that said and done, it’s hard to blame someone like me, for not missing college. That’s why college is so great – no major responsibilities other than studying for exams and it’s all fun from there. I know that this transition is going to be a bit of a struggle but it’s time to move on. After all, I wouldn’t want to be a 5th or 6th year senior, see my friends graduate and move on to their careers as I get ostracized as the old dude at the frat party.

This is dedicated to the Texas Longhorns. The 2012 season is going to be great. Hook ’em!

My Failures and Successes in Business in College

So back in college, I experimented with a couple of business gigs to try to make some money. I knew I was never going to get a job while in school because first, it never really worked for me, and second, I just never saw satisfaction in a dead end job that didn’t challenge me. Here’s a juxtaposition of my successes and failures about my first foray into business.

1. iPad/iPhone reselling – In college, I found reselling iPads my main source of funds. I made around $600-$1000 per month working about 1 hour each day. If you do the math, I actually made around $25/hour doing this. And most importantly, I was able to do this all on my computer and phone. I can still easily replicate this system in NYC but the problem is traveling to meet your buyer would be a hassle when you have a job that requires you to be around for 10 hours/day. If you want to learn my system, I’ll teach you. Just send me an email. It’s really really simple. All you need is a phone, a computer, and $300 to start with.

The main disadvantage of this model is that it isn’t scalable. Why? Simply because you would need a steady supply of iPads. That means getting in contact with Apple and arranging terms, which is very unlikely that they’ll just sell you iPads at wholesale.

2. PS3 controllers – This business wasn’t entirely mine, but I was part of it. Basically, my college buddy ordered a bunch of PS3 controllers from Alibaba.com and we sold them on eBay. Turns out, though, that the controllers were knock-offs and my friend’s eBay account eventually got a bad rep.

3. Niche Adsense Websites – Basically, I created (paid someone to make the site) 5 single page websites with a highly-targeted and keyword-rich domain name that can rank easily on google. Out of those 5 sites, 2 succeeded and brought it some decent earnings. One site averaged $150/month without any maintenance whatsoever. The sites are created in a way that maintenance is unnecessary. The other site made about $75/month. The best part was, once the sites were up and running, I didn’t have to do anything and I simply watched money come in. It was awesome!

What I Learned

The most important lesson that I learned was to research a product/service that would bring in money right away. I learned the hard way when I decided to start a clothing store online. I tried to spend as little as possible because I didn’t want to risk my money. I pooled around $500 to buy minimums of some pieces,  an e-commerce site, and advertising. It turns out the market is way too crowded and you would either need something that jumps out of the page or something that has such an insane value that people won’t be able to turn it down. The internet is just littered with so many clothing stores that it would be crazy difficult to launch another one without any significant selling proposition.

Likewise, test, test, test your product/service before going full-on. I’m currently testing a couple of products right now to see which one is the most lucrative and which one would have the fastest traction. Updates will be made as soon as I am able to gather some data on my market test. I would obviously love to see this work out right away but my experience in sales tells me that business, is a numbers game.

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What I Learned About The ‘Real Life’ That College Failed To Address

Before graduating from college, I had my life planned out almost entirely. After graduation, my plan was to go backpacking to Europe for 2-3 months. Then after that, I would move to either NYC, San Francisco, or L.A. At which point, I was going to work for a consulting firm or a major bank either as a financial analyst or an investment banker. 2-3 years after working and doing the corporate grind, I would go to a major business school like Wharton, Columbia, Northwestern, or even Harvard (my top lists). Then after that I would go back to consulting or banking and just keep working until I become a partner. Well, it turns out that things are much easier said than done. Plans, apparently, are made to be broken. 

Before College

  • I thought getting good grades were enough to land you a decent job. By decent I mean, $50,000 a year with benefits and other perks. 
  • I thought it would be easy getting a job given the credentials that I have on my resumé. Good school, above-average grades, great experience and good recommendations. 
  • I thought everything would be a smooth transition. That is, graduation, travel to Europe, get back to the U.S., then   get a job and work. Things just didn’t work that way. 

After college

  • I learned that unless you come from a top 10 program in your school, which in the Univ. of Texas was Engineering, Business, or Accounting, jobs wouldn’t just be handed to you. If you don’t come from a top 10 program, you better have a stellar GPA or really great experience like say, an internship at Goldman Sachs. I had a 3.42 GPA in economics with a minor in math and that wasn’t enough. 
  • I learned that if you have a good resumé, there’s easily 100 people with better resumés. Improve your interviewing skills. Your resumé gets your foot in the door but beyond that, it’s all about the interview. Make the interviewer like you and respond with absolute enthusiasm in the company.
  • I learned that without the security of a job, which will give me the much needed cash-flow, it will be very difficult to accomplish all these travel and relocation plans. It’s doable, though, and I know some people who have done it. Pretty soon, I’ll get to travel a lot and it will be amazing. Image

courtesy of  mariecarrb.tumblr.com