ICYMI: Designing Your Path as a Change-Maker

By Caroline LeKachman

Hi everyone! My name is Caroline, and I am a sophomore studying Applied Psychology, as well as a Wasserman Career Ambassador. I had the opportunity to attend Designing Your Path as a Change-maker: Pursuing Equity, Inclusion, and Social Impact Through Work. Through speakers, panels, and round-table networking, the event provided me with a lot of useful advice regarding how I can pursue social impact throughout my career. If you did not have a chance to come to the event, read on for some of my key takeaways!

President Andrew Hamilton set the tone for the event with his opening address, highlighting NYU as an institution with a long history of equity, inclusion, and social impact. Referring to NYU as a “private institution in the public service,” Hamilton noted that the day before the event (February 10) was the 59th anniversary of the day Martin Luther King, Jr. came to address NYU on the topic of social justice. King had said, “Every step toward the goal of justice requires. . .the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Being reminded of NYU’s legacy of social justice affirmed my idea that every NYU student, myself included, has the power to make a difference.

The fact that many of the guests at the event were NYU alumni also reinforced this idea in my mind. It was great to hear from working professionals who were once in my shoes at NYU and have since led successful social impact careers. For instance, keynote speaker Jessica González-Rojas, former executive director for the National Center for Latina Reproductive Health, began her journey at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. During her time at the National Center for Latina Reproductive Health, she explored the intersectionality of reproductive justice and sought to create social impact by providing Latina women with reproductive resources. In describing her work at the center, González-Rojas shed light on how courage drove her to succeed in her career. Courage, she explained, was her word for 2020, as well as a starting point for any career in social impact. As a young Latina woman and child of an immigrant, González-Rojas recognized that she was not the stereotypical image of a leader. Although she faced various roadblocks and lawsuits, she did not allow those barriers to stop her from pursuing her goals to make society a more equitable and inclusive place. Now running for public office in the New York State Assembly, González-Rojas recognized the she was taking a risk in her career. However, she reminded students that courage would get her through it and is necessary in any endeavor to fight for what you believe in.

The panel that followed echoed this common theme of courage and provided further advice on how to get from NYU to a career with social impact. For example, Cory Green from How Our Lives Link Altogether! (“HOLLA!”) stated that the moment when he had the courage to open up about his identity as a formerly incarcerated individual at NYU was the moment when he began to create change. He began speaking with other NYU students about the needs of people like himself and ultimately ran protests to ban the box on job applications that required applicants to identify their criminal record. This experience paved the way for Cory to found the organization “HOLLA!”, which provides programming for urban youth of color to interrupt the system of social injustice and punishment that he himself had experienced.

Besides the panel, hearing from other NYU alumni during the round table networking portion of the event provided me with more helpful insights. I had the opportunity to speak with Victoria Shire, Vice President of Here to Here, a workforce development program that creates mini businesses for Bronx students to gain work experience before graduating high school. Shire provided us with post-grad advice and opened my eyes to the sector of Public Administration. As an Applied Psychology major, I have always thought I would pursue a career that involved one-on-one client support as a means to provide social change. So, hearing about how Shire created change by running systems at the top provided me with a different perspective that I had not yet considered.

Overall, this event was an excellent opportunity to learn more about achieving social impact in a career, and I hope you were able to catch a glimpse from this summary of how informative and inspiring the event was!

Wasserman Global Peer Spotlight: Katie Leung

The Case of The “Buchta”
By: Katie Leung, Wasserman Global Peer, NYU Prague

Europe caught me by surprise. As someone who has never been to Europe before, I had no idea what to expect. Maybe there will be some beautiful architecture paired with sparkling rivers. Maybe there will be delicious traditional food. Once I arrived in Prague, I realized I was right about both speculations. However, what I did not see coming were the difficulties I would encounter with a population that was still emerging from the shadows of a period of darkness and oppression. Going from Nazi to Communist rule, and finally achieving democracy and freedom in 1989, Czechs initially present themselves as cold and overly direct on first contact. I found it difficult to adjust to an environment that seemed so distant and closed off from me. As my brilliant music professor, Professor Tony Ackerman, puts it, Czech culture can be compared to a “buchta”. “Buchtas” are traditional Czech pastries featuring a thick doughy outside with a small, but tasty, inside filling. Often, many people become frustrated because it requires such patience and persistence to bite through the doughy layer to get to the sweet part. I, too, initially only saw the “spiky” demeanor that Czechs offered to me. However, as my study abroad experience went on, I soon got my first taste of how “sweet” the Czech people and my study abroad experience can be. 

As the Wasserman Peer in Prague, I was offered the opportunity to get in touch with and speak to many students of different nationalities, different backgrounds, and with different professional needs. This has allowed me to learn how to truly keep my mind open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Alongside with my experience of living here in the Czech Republic, engaging with others as a Wasserman representative taught me how to best identify and relate with others no matter how different their backgrounds may be from mine. Learning how to connect with my fellow classmates and being able to guide them on the path of career preparation made me realize that a good leader can teach, but an exemplary leader is capable of truly unearthing and developing the hidden “buchta” strengths of his or her teammates. 

As someone who is interested in pursuing a career in business, my Wasserman role this semester has further prepared me to be able to effectively work in a team, which often may involve many diverse minds and ideas. Having the flexibility and openness to people around me is a key to success no matter where I work, and the organizational and planning skills I’ve gained from hosting events have also been invaluable. My study abroad experience this fall will certainly remain with me for the remainder of my time at NYU, and even beyond university. 

“Buchtas” are simply hidden opportunities that we may overlook everyday – but I’ve certainly gotten a taste of what sweetness awaits me if I am willing to put in the patience and dedication. 

Growing Trends in Global Markets: Insights from Fletcher Knight

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Fletcher Knight as we reflect on 2019 and look forward to what 2020 will bring. We are filled with anticipation as we turn to thought leaders and forecast the coming trends for the new year. For the FK team, keeping track of trends across different industries allows us to create the future for our clients. It allows us to be aware of what is going on around the globe, keeping us agile in a fast-paced world. We are excited for what is to come, and even more thrilled to live in a city where we can experience these firsthand. Although New York is an inspiring city, we continue to focus our attention on global research markets and towards another hub for trends across the globe—Asia. In the health and fashion worlds, we are currently following streetwear inspired by Asian culture and wellness centers located in South-East Asia.

Takashi Murakami is one of the world’s most famous contemporary artists. Likewise, he produces some of the most coveted Japanese art-inspired streetwear designs. In early November at ComplexCon in LA, Murakami’s famed Kaikai Kiki flower in the form of $50K bejeweled pendants created by Ben Baller, sold out in four minutes by the likes of Kid Cudi and Lil Yachty. A forthcoming subculture of Asian streetwear is taking on a feminist approach to style. Gundi, which in Hindi is an expression used for women who are outspoken and believe in women’s liberation, is now the name for an empowering feminist streetwear brand, Gundi Studios, created by New York art director, Natasha Sumant. What started out as “Gundi” printed on pins and sold with vintage jackets is now a collection of aari, zari and cutdana decorative techniques in a modern streetwear form, handmade in India and filling the void of the lack of representation of South Asian women in streetwear. Although his prices may be high for the average person considering a purchase of his merchandise, Murakami draws his ingenuity from Superflat, so we see his inspiration everywhere. 

The excitement surrounded by snatching a desired limited item creates a buzz. The idea that simple-looking pieces can hold value based on the amounts available, is what puts the hype in hypebeasts. Posting your purchase to Instagram amplifies your status, regardless if it’s the newest Kiks Tyo drop or a luxurious retreat to Six Senses Qing Cheng in Chengdu, Sichuan. So, if your daydreams are otherwise filled with travelling to beautiful destinations in order to gain peace and serenity rather than saving images on Instagram of streetwear inspo, consider planning your next vacation in the Asia-Pacific. 

Asia-Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing inbound travel market, currently ranking second to Europe.2 As the fastest growing wellness tourism market, wellness trips in the Asia-Pacific region has jumped 33 percent in the last two years and isn’t slowing. Vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute, Beth McGroarty, says the market is projected to nearly double from 2017–2022: from $137 billion to $252 billion.3 This growth is due to both inbound and internal tourism. In recent Fletcher Knight consumer research, young managerial office workers have talked about their reluctance to take vacations, especially during their early career, but this is starting to shift. Tourism from white collars tired of bustling outbound tourism are a driving force for their local wellness retreats; the young Chinese population favor and value travelling for health preservation.4 With an overall rising aspiration of wellness destinations for successful Chinese consumers, it will be interesting to see how this translates to mainstream attitudes and behaviors.

Often ahead of the trend curve, looking to Asia can be telling for what’s on the rise in other regions of the world, whether in fashion and health, or even food or beauty. Gaining insight with an open mind from another portion of the world allows us to grow and expand by being influenced by other cultures. These two areas, wellness centers and streetwear, are the tip of the iceberg. Trends are always evolving and growing, you never know what will gain popularity in the future. The anticipation of what’s next is what keeps us going. 

 To learn more about Fletcher Knight’s trend outlooks, click here.

Wasserman Global Peer Spotlight: Emily Gómez

By: Emily Gómez, CAS ’22, Wasserman Global Peer, NYU Madrid

This past semester, I had the opportunity study abroad at NYU Madrid. During that time, I was able to connect with the local culture through my homestay and internship experiences. I interned at a Spanish NGO and was able to form relationships with my coworkers and develop a stronger sense of what I want my career path to look like.

As a Wasserman Global Peer, I was able to assist my peers in their pursuits of spring and summer internships, by helping them with both their resumes and cover letters. It was rewarding to be able to help my peers, and hopefully alleviate a bit of the stress that they were feeling. Though many aspects of study abroad were external (ie. learning how to navigate a new environment and a different culture), I found that the internal changes, and lessons I learned from study abroad are what I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Spain taught me above all else: be honest. This is a cultural difference that our academic coordinators have been telling us since day one, and it’s true- Spanish people are really honest. Their sincerity comes out in all aspects of life, and after living in Spain for the past 4 months, I’ve reflected on this cultural trait and now have a deeper appreciation for honesty, particularly with oneself. Though study abroad is an amazing experience, it is very important to be honest with oneself- I’ve had to evaluate and reevaluate my priorities often this past semester.

Finding the balance between traveling, schoolwork, budgeting my money, and my internship was quite tricky. For me, I began to feel like I found my solid ground in Madrid when I asked myself: do I like what I’m doing? Is my internship satisfying? Do I like my classes? I realized that though the workload was high and at times I would get stressed, I was learning about subjects I was passionate about and interning at an NGO that I felt was doing really important work. Once I reflected on my situation instead of running through the motions, I felt motivated and excited for the future. I’m very glad to have been able to experience the homestay, worked at theSpanish NGO, and been able to service my peers.

Thank you Wasserman and NYU Madrid!

Your internship just ended. Now what?

By: Bailey Irelan, Communications Specialist at Hot Paper Lantern

After a successful internship, it’s all too easy to slip back into your normal routine and let the connections and work you put in fade into the background. Making the most of an internship experience goes far beyond your time at the company. Here are three things you can do to make sure you get the full benefit of your internship – after you walk out of the company’s office for the last time. A little continued effort and planning can ensure the hard work you put in during your internship doesn’t go to waste.


Most internships are whirlwind experiences, an intense time period where you’re absorbing so much information and pushing yourself to perform at the best of your ability. Take the time after your internship to reflect on your experience and narrow down on your takeaways. What type of task most energized you? What did you keep putting off until the last minute? Was the size of the company too large and overwhelming, or too small and stifling? Analyzing what you experienced and what made it great or lacking in an area will help inform your career path. 

Keep up to date within the world you worked in

Keep track of the fruits of your labor. Did the product launch you helped plan go off without a hitch and bring in media hits? Note that for your own resume. You had a part in it, so own it. It’s a good idea to periodically read the trade publications for the industry as well. Keeping up to date on new competitors, changes in leadership teams and shifts in the overall industry will serve you well as you start interviewing for entry-level jobs. It will also help steer you toward – or away from – the right companies for your values and skills. 

Take “keep in touch” seriously

Maintaining the relationships you built while at the company is the single most important action you can take to get the most out of the time you put in during your internship. When people said, “keep in touch,” as you left, they meant it. However, the ball is in your court. It’s up to you to reach out every so often and check in with the people with whom you worked. Maintain the relationships well ahead of when you think you’ll need a favor from them, whether that’s serving as a reference or to be the first person they think of when an open position becomes available.

The cliché is overused, but true: finding what you don’t want to do is just as important as finding what you do want to do. While you are in school, your time is limited and it’s imperative that you use every opportunity to find one more piece of the puzzle you’re building as your future career. The connections you make during internships may prove to be the most valuable assets as you enter the job market. It’s all too easy to get busy with school after an internship, but you won’t regret reflecting on your experience, reading up on the industry, and most importantly, building on the connections you made. They could be the difference in landing your dream job. 

Hot Paper Lantern is a NYC-based marketing and communications agency that helps brands launch, grow, adapt, and transform.

3 Tips for the Transition from Full-Time Student to Full-Time Professional

By Tiffany Li

A couple of years ago as a senior at NYU, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of being a full-time working professional versus an intern/student. Would it be an easy transition? Would I get along with my co-workers? What would my workload be like? I will say that the wonderful thing is that when you start working, even though you may not be in school anymore, you never stop learning, whether it’s learning technical skills like how to build a dashboard in Tableau or learning how to design a beautiful slide deck. 

This post may not answer all the questions running through your mind, but here are 3 tips to help you prepare for this transition: 

Get ready for your work routine
Your hours will vary heavily depending on the job, because you could have a standard 9am-6pm job or one that’s 6am-5pm or even 4pm-12am. Either way, you should ensure that you prepare yourself and are ready for that change. Try to set a routine and establish a pattern of balance before you start working (if you know what your hours are going to be)! In my role, although I usually end by 6pm, sometimes I have calls with marketers from around the world like Japan and Singapore, which results in hopping on calls at 8pm or 10pm. Having a desk in your room or having a go-to cafe to do work will definitely come in handy. 

Prepare yourself for rush hour commutes
This won’t be as easy as walking from your dorm to campus anymore, but thank goodness for public transit! Rush hour can be rough, especially on certain lines like the 4/5/6, and sometimes there are delays. Get ahead of the curve by using MYmta or CityMapper or Transit (three of my favorite transit apps) to see real-time info on when your train is coming. IBM Marketing is actually close to campus though (Astor Place and Union Square), so it almost feels like I’ve never left!

Expect your social schedule to change
Your friends won’t all be on campus anymore, and you’ll likely be spread out in terms of where you live/work, not to mention you’ll have different jobs and therefore work hours, but you can still make time! Plus, think of all the new people you’ll meet at work. When I was a summer intern at IBM, our program had IBM-organized outings like bowling, but we also organized karaoke and game night, and when I started full-time, my new hire class organized a ski trip in the Poconos. Also, don’t forget to pick up hobbies to ground yourself in activities outside of work (ex: learning pottery, training for marathons, teaching yourself how to play a new instrument).

Written by: Tiffany Li, Marketing Analytics Consultant for IBM. She is a digital marketing professional with a history of working in the community development finance/media and entertainment/tech industries. She graduated from NYU in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Computing & Data Science, and a minor in the Business of Entertainment, Media, and Technology (BEMT). In her current role at IBM, she sits at corporate headquarters in NYC and supports the Performance Marketing discipline, which uses business analytics, data science, visualization and data management skills to help marketers target the right audience, with the best content and an optimal marketing mix to drive outcomes. Tiffany focuses on using analytics to provide data-driven insights and optimize IBM’s marketing campaigns end-to-end, from the web user experience to sales alignment.

IBM is an American multinational information technology company that has innovated the world for over 100 years. Here at IBM Marketing, we’re outcomes-oriented, client centric, and agile to the core. Want to learn more about IBM Marketing and how you can join through our internship program? Visit ibm.biz/Bdz7ba.

Wasserman Global Peer Spotlight: Margaux Trexler

A small fish in a big pond, and very glad to be one
By: Margaux Trexler, Wasserman Global Peer, NYU Paris

After living in Baltimore, Maryland, for my whole life, the idea of moving to Paris for a year was undeniably daunting. Not only did I not speak French, but Paris is about four times larger than my hometown, with a population surpassing two million. I feared getting swept up in a city of unknown faces speaking a foreign tongue, as unfamiliar to those around me as they were to me.

My premonition rang true as I started my first semester at NYU Paris. I found myself being jostled around in the metro, knowing practically no one as I did my grocery shopping or went to the gym, aside from the group of friends I made during orientation week. This was a huge culture shock for me, since back home, I usually ran into at least five people I knew every time I left my house. I struggled to communicate basic sentences to native French speakers, such as “do you have almond milk?” and never failed to say “sorry!” instead of “pardon” when I bumped into someone. Time and time again, I was unable to execute basic tasks that would be second nature back home and grew more frustrated with myself as the days went by.

But as the weeks went on, I realized my outlook on my new life in Paris was terribly flawed. It wasn’t me, it was my mind that was keeping me from thriving and taking in all I could amongst these new challenges. 

After living in Paris for four months, I’ve realized that living in a new city is bound to present obstacles, and it is unrealistic to assume that one can manage to defeat every problem presented. I still find myself unable to say everything I want to in French and do once and a while fall back into my very American “sorry!” But even though tribulations may arise, by finding a community where you feel you belong, and people that support you, I believe you can make yourself a home in the busiest of cities.

Through my work with the Wasserman Global Peers, I found that the best way to make a new place more familiar is by helping and working with others. Through my preparation for my Cover Letter and Resume Workshop, I talked to students I had never spoken to before while I gave them advice on their career planning and their future. As I want to be a journalist in the future, communicating with others would be a huge part of my job. My work as a Global Peer strengthened my confidence in doing so tremendously. 

I also started volunteering with some other NYU students at an organization called Serve the City, where we distribute food to the local homeless around Paris. Through my time with Serve the City, I made connections with people I would never have met otherwise, heard countless life stories, and spent my time doing something meaningful in my new home. I may be a small fish in a big pond, but small fish can still do a lot of good. And those people who I thought were strangers? They aren’t so different from me, after all. 

Interested in working in Egypt? ICYMI: Qalaa Holdings Info Session

By Caroline LeKachman

Hi everyone! My name is Caroline, and I am a Wasserman Career Ambassador in my second year studying Applied Psychology. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend an employer presentation held by Qalaa Holdings, a leading investment company in Africa and the Middle East. As my background is in psychology, it was interesting to learn more about internship opportunities in fields outside of my comfort zone. 

Ihab Rizk, the Head of Human Services at Qalaa Holdings, led the presentation and provided an overview of the company’s history as well as its opportunities for Summer 2020 internships. One of the aspects of the company’s history that interested me most was its emphasis on finding innovative, daring ways to improve the energy, mining, and transportation needs of the surrounding region. For instance, Rizk explained that during the company’s beginnings as a private equity firm in 2004, ninety-six percent of Egyptian residents lived near the Nile River, but only three percent of transportation served those areas. As a result, Qalaa Holdings sought to begin a greenfield project on the Nile that significantly improved the transportation of the region. 

Additionally, Rizk mentioned the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) and ASCOM as two of its most successful subsidiaries after its transition to being an investment company in 2013. Rizk described how ASCOM, in particular, was bought by Qalaa Holdings for almost no money when ASCOM only handled cement. Now under the ownership of Qalaa Holdings, ASCOM is worth 3 billion Egyptian pounds and controls eighty-seven percent of the cement business in Egypt and its surrounding regions, in addition to doing work in other areas like glass and insulation. From these and other anecdotes that Rizk told about the company, I could tell that Qalaa Holdings is committed to serving the needs of its surrounding regions through its investment in various industries, including energy, packing and printing, mining, agrifoods, and transportation and logistics–all to great success.

Besides the company’s commitment to its mission and success in doing so, I found the amount of value that Qalaa Holdings places on its workers to be my greatest takeaway of the presentation. For instance, Rizk explained that during its recruitment process for full-time employees, the company does not hire anyone outright but rather invites potential employees to attend a twelve week program, which consists of a crash course in working for the company. After several evaluations, including a mock pitch of a company to potential investors, Qalaa Holdings decides who to hire. This process not only allows the company to make more informed hiring decisions, but also enables students who may not necessarily have a background in business, such as myself, to have the opportunity to work for Qalaa Holdings. In fact, Rizk gave several examples of people who work for the company and have such diverse backgrounds as engineering, chemistry, and even art. 

Even more relevant to NYU students, Qalaa Holdings will provide transportation, accommodations, and a stipend for its Summer 2020 intern positions in finance, HR, and engineering. Rizk also mentioned that the company is in the process of interviewing mentors specifically assigned to its interns in order to provide support while students gain real experience working full-time for the entire month of July. I personally appreciated how Rizk emphasized that Qalaa Holdings seeks to provide real experience, very much not the coffee runs and secretarial duties often stereotypical of an internship. All of these details demonstrated to me that Qalaa Holdings greatly values not only its employees but also its interns. 

Considering the company’s successful history and value for its workers, interning at Qalaa Holdings sounds like an excellent opportunity for students wishing to gain professional experience in a global setting, and I encourage any juniors and seniors interested in applying to do so! Applications are still open until January 24, 2019 and can be found on Handshake.

How to Secure an Interview in Non-Traditional Finance Industries from a student’s perspective

By Ryan Xia

Hi everyone! My name is Ryan Xia, a Stern junior studying Finance and Actuarial Science. Passionate about the study and practice of risks, I have had quite a lot of professional exposure to non-traditional finance industries. If you are actively looking for, or thinking about, a potential internship in a non-traditional finance industry, such as risk, the following tips may help you better prepare for your interviews.

Misconception 1: Finance employers only care about networking
It is true that networking not only broadens your personal connections but also unlocks potential opportunities. However, because the non-traditional finance industry is usually much more technical than traditional finance jobs (investment banking), networking is not the only key to success. While it might help you get your first-round interview, (usually a 30 minute casual phone conversation), it is your strong technical background that makes you stand out. As far as I know, a lot of top insurance companies and risk management firms start to question candidates on their technical background even starting at the first round of interviews. With that being said, in order to enter the world of non-traditional finance jobs, spending your time enhancing your technical skills is critical.

Misconception 2: Non-traditional finance jobs are boring
Non-traditional finance industries such as Risk are known for their vigor for change and their constantly changing environment due to different regulatory shifts. This is a perk of working in a non-traditional finance industry as being outside of the ordinary finance box provides you with a lot of working autonomy and flexibility. Additionally, this type of work may challenge you since many of the responsibilities generally do not have a standard approach and require constant critical thinking to come up with unique innovative solutions. For instance, I was asked to model the potential likelihood of a terrorism attack in a metropolitan area. Sounds interesting right? 

Misconception 3: All finance based recruiting structures and timelines are the same
There is generally no fixed timeline for recruiting for non-traditional finance jobs; recruiting activities go on all year around. I got my offer to Marsh & McLennan Companies in May, two months before the internship started. This difference in recruiting timeline is likely due to the smaller applicant pool that exists for non-traditional finance jobs due to the extensive technical knowledge and statistical skills required. I am sure you have heard how competitive it is to even get an interview spot for Investment Banking internships, not to mention actually securing an internship position. 

Misconception 4: If the application pool for non-traditional finance industries is smaller, it must be easier to secure an interview.
Not necessarily! Because the non-traditional finance industry itself already applies a filter to the applicants (only those who pay attention to technical skills and are willing to devote huge amount of time, energy, and effort to sharpening the technical skills will find pleasure in exploring non-traditional finance industries), applying to non-traditional finance jobs is both competitive and non-competitive. It is competitive because other applicants are just as hardworking and technically acute as you are. Thus acing the interviews is a bit challenging. On the other hand, because you do not have that many candidates competing for one position, statistically speaking, your chances of securing an interview opportunity are higher. 

Non-Traditional Finance industries such as risk, as you can sense now, ask for distinctively different traits in candidates and have their own preferences and modes of operation. If you are still have foundational question about non-traditional finance industry or would like to ask for clarifications on potential “misconceptions” please do not hesitate to reach out to me at wx505@stern.nyu.edu.

ICYMI: Zero to Hero

Written by Kyle Mariano

In case you missed it, on October 21, Matt Medney, the founder and CEO of Hero Projects and Hero Records made his fated return to NYU’s Wasserman Center to give the third installment of his five-part lecture series Zero to Hero. I had the privilege of attending Matt’s first lecture, “Writing Your IP (Intellectual Property)” last month, where he outlined some of the fundamentals of taking your creative ideas such as script ideas and developing them into tangible products and deliverables. Matt’s most recent lecture “The Intersection of Technology and Pop Culture” brought a fresh new perspective to what it means to be a creator in the newfangled landscape of digital media.

When I heard that the title of the lecture was “The Intersection of Technology and Pop Culture,” I thought that the lecture would be about how digital media and social media have shaped the landscape of popular culture. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how Matt deviated from common trends concerning technology and pop culture, and chose not to talk about YouTubers or Instagram influencers. Rather, Matt opened his lecture with a couple questions: “Who has seen the Coachella performance where they brought a hologram of Tupac to perform?” and “What could be the consequences and implications of this technology in live entertainment?” 

Matt challenged our notions of what entertainment traditionally is and also challenged our creative thinking skills by asking us how we could integrate new technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and holograms with traditional entertainment such as movies, museums, and live music events. 

If I had to come up with a few implications and applications that I could take away from Matt Medney’s visit, they would have to be:

1. Create or conceptualize as many touchpoints for your IP/product 

If your goal is to get your product out there, then you need to create as many opportunities for engagement as possible! What are the various channels that your product can be interacted with? Does it have a page for each social media platform out there? Do the promotional materials exist both in digital and physical channels? There are so many types of channels out there, so try to utilize as many as you can, whether it is a toy, augmented reality experience, an app, and so forth!

2. Get creative with emergent tech!

Don’t just stop at social media! With the advent of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, there are so many new and exciting ways that media and entertainment can interact with pop culture. Even if they are not accessible for everyone, try to brainstorm and conceptualize the potential ways that your product can look like in the future.

3. The rise of emergent technologies does not mean old media and entertainment are going anywhere.

The existence of technologies such as AR and VR mean that the future of digital media and entertainment is almost upon us – it is just a matter of time until they become easier to synthesize with existing forms of media and entertainment. However, that does not mean that entertainment experiences such as museums, movies, and live events as we know them are going anywhere. The truth of the matter is that people love authenticity and even antiquity, hence the popularity of vintage. Years from now, regardless of what emergent technologies become popular, people will always embrace old media and entertainment.

If you are looking to meet and talk to a stellar entrepreneur and develop your creative ideas into something tangible, then I suggest you attend the next entry in Matt’s Zero to Hero lecture series: “From Idea to Product.”

Pre-Interview Checklist

Written by Mithul Roy

Pre-Interview Checklist: (Use this to prepare for your next interview!)

  • Use Glassdoor/Big Interview to lookup potential questions
  • Research the company
  • Prepare 2-3 questions to ask the interviewer
  • Review your application materials (resume, cover letter, etc)
  • Review the job posting
  • Update and print your resume
  • Network with people at the company via LinkedIn
  • Review interview scenarios based on industry type
  • Practice via Big Interview or setting up a mock interview at Wasserman
  • Plan your route for the day of
  • Pick your outfit ahead of time
  • Pack a notebook/pad folio

When it comes to preparing for a job interview, ignorance is not bliss. Having a checklist at hand to guide you through each job interview can make the process less daunting, and much more methodical. 

Do Your Research

Start your interview prep by learning about what to expect from the experience. You should be able to answer generic and common interview questions such as “tell me about yourself” but you can also use resources like Glassdoor to read up on common interview questions for the company you are interviewing with. Following this, do your research on the company. Look up their website, social media profiles and recent news to get a sense of the company’s history and where it’s headed.  You can also use resources such as Vault (via Handshake) to look up the company’s competitors and further information on the industry it operates in. It might also be helpful to go the extra mile: know the name of the company CEO, where its headquarters is located, its geographic locations and reach, as well as how many people it employs. You should read up on things like the firm’s culture, and how it’s different from its competitors or changing the market landscape. Other things to look out for are the firm’s business model, its mission statement, and core values,  all of which will help you explain why you want to be employed at that company.

Update Your Materials

Before any interview, it is essential to re-familiarize yourself with all the materials you have used in your interactions with the company. You should make sure your resume is up to date and tailored to the job and industry you are interviewing for. It is a good idea to have at least two pairs of eyes look over your resume, like having a Wasserman career coach review your resume during drop-in hours or during career coaching appointments. Be sure to review your resume, cover letter, job application and any other materials submitted with your application as well as all prior communications with the company. If you have had previous interviews with the company, review your notes from those interviews too and print out copies of your resume and other materials submitted with your application. Your recruiter will likely have a copy of your resume but you will look a lot more prepared if you have one to offer in case they do not. Pack a notebook and pen to take notes during the interview which will indicate to the interviewer that you are intent on learning as much as possible from the experience.

Know yourself 

Always have an overarching story for your career journey, and the path that has brought you where you are now professionally, and where you want to go. If you are looking to make a career shift from the experiences indicated in your resume, make sure you are able to explain your motivations for such a shift as well. You should review the job posting and make sure you know how your skills meet the job requirements as well as how you intend to work on any skills that you may be lacking from the job description. You can reach out to people who work at the company you are interviewing with through LinkedIn ahead of time to get a sense of the culture and what to expect from the process. You can also look up your interviewers on Linkedin to get a sense of their career trajectories and any common interests you may have. If you are preparing for a technical interview, make sure to review any technical questions or case studies that you are likely to face. 

Practice makes perfect! 

The more you practise interviewing, the easier each interview will seem. Try doing mock interviews with mentors, friends or with a Wasserman career coach during career coaching appointments. You can use Big Interview, which you can access through Handshake, to practise your interview answers. Big Interview allows you to video record yourself answering its catalogue of dozens of questions that will prepare you to tackle even the most unexpected questions on your interview and perfect your body language.

Get Ready for the Day

It is always a good idea to prepare as much as possible before the interview day, including looking looking up the location of your interview ahead of time and planning your route in advance, taking care to leave extra time for any unforeseen contingencies. You can also lay out your interview outfit the night before so you are not rushing in the morning of the interview and do a trial run if needed. Lastly, Prepare at least two questions to ask your interviewers; make sure your questions are specific and show that you have researched the company. Never ask a question that can be solved with a quick google search or a generic question that could apply to any company.

Taking the time to adequately prepare for your interview can make the interview much less intimidating, and having a game plan to approach interviews can shorten your prep-time before each interview. Best of luck on your future interviews!

ICYMI: Software Engineering Career Panel

Hi everyone! My name is Lulu and I am a visiting student from the Abu Dhabi campus. I am a junior studying Social Research and Public Policy minoring in Theater, Social Entrepreneurship (NYU Stern and NYU Wagner), and Interactive Media. As a visiting student in New York for one semester, I’m always excited to attend NYU hosted events, because I believe that I can learn something new every time.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Software Engineering Career Panel hosted by the Wasserman Center at the Tandon MakerSpace. The panel consisted of NYU Alumni: Cesar Murillas from Major League Baseball, Whitney Mulhern of IBM, Sumit Pal of Vettery, Artem Durskyy of Flatiron health, and Suyasha Srestha of Alphasights. The event was open to everyone regardless of their major. As a non-Computer Science major, I was very nervous! What if I wouldn’t be able to understand the technical terms? However, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one with a different academic background. By the end of the panel, I learned many new things that could be applied to my field. Here are some things that I learned from these wonderful speakers:

1. Certain NYU classes prepare you for the real world.
According to a speaker, Data Structures & Algorithms is very useful. Most job interviews in the software engineering field are structured around the concepts taught in this class. Otherwise, you would have to indulge in hours of self- learning. Another speaker brought up how any class with Professor John Sterling is a must-take.
2. Coding is more about logic than it is about the language.
A speaker recalled how she was always working with small pieces of code during her undergraduate years. At work, however, she instead learned that coding is about taking pieces of different frameworks of the software. It’s about finding ways to make different elements work. You don’t need to know a language super well to work. Coding is about analyzing, and fixing things here and there. It has more to do with logic than the language.
3. Communication is important.
All speakers agreed that if there was one thing from their job that surprised them, it was the importance of communication. At work, it is important to learn how to work together with someone, build something together, and to communicate effectively with people on technical and personal levels.Blog Image.png4. Growth is essential.
When you feel like you ‘hit a ceiling with learning’- as a speaker put it – then it’s time to find something more fulfilling. Companies like Vettery, for example, allow room and opportunities for growth, through exchanging ideas at various events and through mentorship that is specifically designed to create a support network for employees.
5. It might take time to figure things out and that’s okay.
One speaker brought up how he knew that he was going to commit to Computer Science right from the beginning of college. Another speaker told us the story of how he started as a Computer Engineering major, talked to his academic advisor about the possibility of switching to Computer Science, and went to the Wasserman Center for mock job interviews. He ended up getting a full-time job far before the day of graduation, because his supervisors at his internship liked him so much.

Other speakers shared about their experiences trying different internships until they found the culture and structure that was the right fit. They recognized that everyone works at a different pace in different paths and it’s okay to explore our options. In the end, things will eventually work out, as long as we put our best effort, utilize the available resources and reach out to the right people.

The networking session at the end of the event provided the opportunity for students and employers to connect around shared values and experiences. The common thread amongst all of the students that I spoke to was that they felt the event did a great job at providing them with a holistic approach to building a career in software engineering. Insights from different perspectives with people working in different environments was specifically useful. I’m very glad I attended this event- I left the room feeling like I learned something new.