Week 3 – Finance & Consulting

Week 3 has been the most exciting for me so far. Although my life has never been connected to finance or consulting, visiting such world famous firms as Bloomberg, Ernst&Young, NASDAQ, private equity firms dealing with minimum investments of $100M, eyewitnessing the success of the CEU team presentation at NASDAQ new venture competition left me with a truly remarkable impression.

The week has started with the presentation of Paul Toldalagi, the founder and chairman of a BTAPartners firm. He told us about his career path emphasising that “profession is not a goal but a journey”. Started as a technical specialist he has moved into finance, and later on after being dismissed from the company he worked for he started his own business in 2005, which has proved to be a successful consulting firm that provides advisory and solutions to its clients (http://www.bta-partners.com). He has emphasised that content will be free but what will not be free is expertise, and the ability of interactive learning and communication is essential.

Meetings with Zephyr Management (http://zephyrmanagement.com) and General Atlantic (http://www.generalatlantic.com) gave some insights about different companies dealing with investments. And while the first one is playing on a smaller scale, the latter one represented the high-end of the investment business dealing with private firms. Of course, the attitude towards the investment itself, the analytic tools used by both companies, and the key principles are somewhat different, which although does not prevent them from being successful in what they do. Those who are interested in careers in finance, I believe, received a lot of useful data: scope, trends, key principles, returns on investments, key markets, holding period and liquidation decisions and many other useful tips.

Rudin Management (http://www.rudin.com), real estate holding ranked as one of the largest and most respected privately owned real estate portfolios in the NYC, has introduced us the Di-Boss system – a smart digital building operating technology that helps to save substantial amounts of money resulting from more efficient operating of buildings thanks to the usage of smart analytics tools. There was an important message in the presentation – knowing what business you’re in is a key to success. As presenter has said: If you think you’re in real estate business, think again! Which brings me to understanding that the added value is what matters nowadays.

Stephen Ibach in his talk “State-of-the-art in Finance” has enthusiastically presented us his vision on the past, present and future of finance, and opportunities arising from it. “Having an idea, being humble, hungry and honest” are essential in any job.

Ernst&Young visit provided us with better understanding of what kind of consultancy services they provide and profile of employees they are looking for.

One of the most impressive to some extent for me were visits to famous Bloomberg and NASDAQ. Our program was a truly unique opportunity to be there, talk to people, and have that feel of what it is like.

The NASDAQ visit was particularly outstanding thanks to our talented colleagues from the CEU Business school who took part in the New Venture competition organised by NASDAQ and Prezi. I truly admire them and I hope to see soon after our graduation the successful start of Wymeria Delta. Congrats, guys!




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