Week 3: Lots to See, Insights for Me

This week’s highlights for me were definitely the visit to Rudin Management, Zephyr Management, and participating in the New Venture competition. While I do hold interest in finance, as, like a true nerd, I hold an interest in most things, regardless of their relevance to me, I must admit that working in finance for a large firm is far from my goals. So, I wasn’t exactly eager to attend some of the site visits, but I must admit, I really did love learning about the changing nature of real estate and investing in the emerging markets.

At Rudin Management, I was intrigued to learn about a successful real estate agency here in NYC. I was surprised to be learning instead about large-scale investments in smart green technology and big data. When telling some friends back home about the visit and the changing nature of real estate, one of them commented, “Everything is changing.” The sentence seemed so true in so many ways: from the nature of business, to peoples’ roles in the market, to my career ambitions, all the way to my upcoming wedding in less than two months. I’m attempting to reflect a huge insight I’ve gained this week and over the course of our time here: the world moves so very fast, that if you’re not embracing the role of a visionary (even at a real estate company) you’re not moving fast enough.

I was intrigued by our speaker’s suggestion to read Fooled by Randomness, and so I’ve been listening to it on my Audible app on the subway. It’s blowing my mind. The author argues that, basically, the universe is a random place, and the best we can do is to do our best; the rest is not as much in our control as we think it is. Oddly, that has allowed me to become a bit more driven and productive, holding that notion in my mind, since all I can do is my absolute best, and after that, I should just let the dice fall where they may.

At Zephyr Management, I was excited to hear from the founders, because I understood that they invested in several economies and regions to which I have had the blessing to travel. Truly, I am inspired by the business model, and I may even approach them once in India to see if there is a role I could fill within their offices. I loved hearing about using your gut instinct to do business in combination with hard data. I really enjoyed learning about applying some of the concepts we learned in Macroeconomics with Maria Findrik to the real world, as they explained they did on a daily basis to increase the wealth of their investors.

Finally, I think the most exciting part of my week was, very much to my surprise, winning the NASDAQ competition. I had not expected to win, by any stretch of the imagination, against a tech startup or a Budapest incubator! So winning, and seeing my face on the NASDAQ was the highlight, but not the takeaway. What I really took away from the competition came from the discussions I had afterward, in which many people encouraged me to pursue my own business right away, rather than trying to hold a “day job” or worry about stability. One of the strongest arguments was that stability doesn’t exist in a big company these days any more than in the world of enterprise itself, so why not do what you’re passionate about. I must admit, so much encouragement and advice of this type has me truly rethinking my future in the short run. And it’s very exciting to do so!



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