During the second week of our New York Module, the focus was the well-established businesses, mainly finance, consulting and related areas. I, personally was looking for the answer whether start-upping is really a valid alternative for someone to more established career paths. Or in other words, I wanted to see the other side of the coin compared to the 1st week presentations. I think the question should be and was approached from financial, interestingness, impact and work-life balance perspectives.
During the week we had the opportunity to have presenters from the different areas within the established businesses in New York: finance, investment banking, consultancy, multinational management.
The key takeaways for me were:
- it is always better if you learn the profession / best practices / state-of-the art operation (and make the inevitable mistakes) on someone else’s nickels
- you should carefully and consciously choose the business area you would like to work in, because even if you are good and choose a bad area, you will not be successful, while in the other way around it definitely can be the case (When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.– Warren Buffet)
- many successful people are fooled by randomness, but you can see only that the dots are connecting when you look backward.
- always consider the global market, do not focus on one location only, if you are good at something, give the opportunity to the demanders to pay for it.
- you can find great business investment opportunities still in the world, but you should look for those niche markets which the big players are not interested in.
- Some question the future of the whole Wall Street establishment, and you should be prepared for bigger changes in that area, because automation, technology and peer driven methods the impact generated by certain functions today could be eliminated in the future.
To conclude, I think the week proved that start-upping is only one way of becoming successful, and also for me it proved that if you do not have an extraordinary passion for something to innovate you can be much more on the safe side and be successful with a higher probability in remaining in the old-school establishment.