This week was focused looking at another side of the financial sector of NYC. We visited the office of Ernst and Young, one of the “Big 4” accounting firms. We learned about their opportunities for MBA grad students and their focus on consulting, not just accounting. We also visited two private equity firms: General Atlantic and Zephyr. I really enjoyed these visits. General Atlantic is one of the biggest private equity firms and they focus on large investments all over the world. Zephyr also focuses on investments all over the world, but they do smaller investments in emerging markets. Their main advice was to seek markets where the relative advantage is to the situation at hand, relative value, not absolute value. They found that the biggest deficit in emerging markets is operating skills–getting simple things done can be very difficult. My favorite company visit was Zephyr. I found the Zephyr speakers really interesting and engaging. I appreciate and relate to their passion for experiencing new cultures. Their advice for us when we graduate:
- Do what you are passionate about
- Look for the fields/markets that are growing
- Know your relative value. Don’t try to compete on intelligence. Go where no one else will go and do what no one else will do
- Be ethical
- Manage your ego
We had a very wide range of speakers come to give class lectures this week compared to last week. Aaron Foster from Pfizer gave us much insight into the healthcare industry. Bela Sandor spoke to us about cloud computing and big data. Paul Todalgi gave us an introduction to financial technology- FinTech. Unfortunately, during Stephen Ibach’s lecture it was the hottest day and air conditioning was broken, so it was hard to focus. He spoke passionately about how he believed finance is a dying field and warned us to avoid it. This was weird and I would like to know what Mel and Bala think about this. My favorite speaker was Monty Graham on Friday. This is because he spoke about one of the topics I am most interested in–energy, specifically, green energy and how to become more efficient using green technologies and smart cities. He talked about how NYC recycles organic waste and puts it in a sort of giant compost which turns it into renewable biogas (methane).
I am very excited for the lectures and company visits this coming week because they all focus on green/clean tech and sustainability.