LIFE IN THE APPLE – Week 1

So here I am writing my first blog post on life and learnings in this awe-inspiring New York City. I happened to arrive here last week on a Saturday afternoon on a Jet Airways flight filled with people from my community which was a pleasant sight after long. I was soon to be cursed as my luggage got delayed after having spent more than an hour searching for that one bag. So here I was all geared up to spend the next couple of days in a tee and pair of jeans. My day there on went pretty well as I spent the whole day with a childhood friend who took me around the hot spots in the city. Most of which was spent trying out different varieties of food specially the guacamole, the highly fattening burgers and burritos. The day after, I was off to the student residence center in Brooklyn where I was glad to meet a bunch of happy faces from my b-school. We spent the day chit-chatting and wandering about in the calming neighborhoods. The next day, a Monday was planned as a get together for all the cohorts in NYC program to interact with one another along with the Dean and program director, Bala. All seemed to be excited as to what was in store for us in this whole new different world.

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Tuesdays are without a doubt my least favorite day of the week. However, not this one as we had fantastic guest speakers from NYU, consultants, talking about innovations in an eco system, primarily New York City. I was particularly impressed with the way the two speakers grilled us into understanding what we were here for and what we aim to achieve in future. The talk helped me understand how the business lifecycle has changed over the years and how businesses are approached nowadays, especially focusing on startups and innovations. New York City is where all the action is taking place and that there is stress on developing this so called Silicon Alley, a general term referring to the dot com industry in New York City as a whole. A key takeaway was the CAPTURE framework which gives a practical approach of engaging each component in the innovation ecosystem. That done, I grabbed some falafel from the food trucks as we head off Brooklyn downtown to CUSP, an NYU Centre for Urban Science and Progress. The guest lecturer gave us an insight on where data science and bigdata, and how information from all ends can be made use of, for a better living. One of the data statistics that he showed was the frequency of complaints of residents in NYC and the timing of these complaints. It was interesting to note that ‘noise’ affected residents the most and the complaints for which were sent mostly during midnight. Another piece of information he showed was the heat map of the building across the city, a few showing red flags with high heat generated in the basement area which needed caution. Once done with the session, I did some grocery shopping, munched on some junk food on the way and walked back to the residence center to call it a night.

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Wednesday, another bright sunny day, started off with last mornings speakers continuing their talk on innovations in a global city, this time hitting the practical notes. We were given a fair glimpse of how to start your own business here, right from searching for a location, the incentives and funds .I really liked the task given to us , a small case study of an online company wanting to hit big and we were tasked with forming a due diligence , valuating the company and whether or not the company is right in going ahead. The next class, we had a highly experienced speaker from an Executive Search company. He gave us key insights on how the hiring process works, what head-hunters look for in a job seeker, the current market needs etc. He also made us realize how we needed to highlight our strengths over weaknesses and urged us to form a list of all the key attributes we have stepping out of CEU B-school. The evening was spent strolling the crowded streets of Manhattan and walk down Brooklyn Bridge.

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The next morning didn’t start off that well as I had a bad stomach waking up in morning and could not make it to my first class. Although I have taken notes from colleagues and hope to catch up on the same this weekend. The afternoon session was a visit to an established law firm in the heart of Times Square, Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP. The guest speakers gave us a brief overview of the FCPA regulations in United States and how they differed from the UK bribery act. It was interesting to note what you consider and what not, when looking into any corruption case. It was interesting to hear how they dealt with the infamous, complex Magyar telecom case in Hungary.  The best part of the evening was wine and cheese from the 30th odd floor of the Times Square Tower and enjoying the breathtaking view of nyc as we conversed with elite people from this industry. I head off later to meet a dear friend celebrating his birthday over live music and drinks in the village area of NYC.

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