By: Raffi Laitamaki
A little over a month ago, I turned twenty and my mom decided it was the perfect time to buy me a self help book about my twenties titled “The Defining Decade.” At first, I laughed a little at the gift because I didn’t think that turning twenty was a big deal nor did I think I needed a self help book, but when I sat down to read it I realized that as always- my mom knows best. If you just turned twenty, are about to turn twenty, or are currently in your twenties this book is a must read. “The Defining Decade” helps explain why our twenties matter and why we should make the most of them right now.
Why do our twenties matter so much? Our personalities change more during this decade than at any time before or after. Before reading “The Defining Decade,” I had no idea that our twenties are our “best chance for change” because I had always heard that our childhood and adolescence shape our personalities tremendously. Similar to most people my age, I thought that who I was and what I was capable of was already largely determined by my childhood. I was wrong, and that is so exciting. It is exciting because there is still time to change- time to figure out who I want to be and deliberately work at making myself a better person.
Our personalities change more during this period because our brains are not fully developed. The frontal lobe of our brain processes rational thoughts and allows us to think about the future, but this vital section does not fully mature until sometime between the ages of twenty and thirty. Therefore, every interaction and experience we have right now creates new connections in our brain that increase our capacity to learn new things. Right now our brain is being shaped by the people we talk to and the jobs we take, but in the future it won’t be as easy to learn new things or become who we want to be. After age thirty most of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are relatively stable, meaning that for the most part we are who we are. So don’t wait- now is the time to become who you want to be.
By: Siri Ranganath
For all the people studying abroad next year who see punny instagram captions from foreign countries and get nervous...
Study abroad is marketed to Stern students as an essential part of our “global education”--we get to settle in a foreign country and further our studies in places where the opportunities to enrich ourselves are endless. The freedom that comes with being abroad is undeniably attractive to the Stern undergraduate; we gain this freedom when we come to New York as freshmen and continually seek more of it. It’s an insatiable desire to be free of the things that tie you down, an inherent desire in people reaching their twenties.
On a personal level, I understand this. I can never forget how I felt opening up the portal on Albert that told me that I was accepted to the London campus in the Fall. The first feeling was complete elation; after all, I was excited to move somewhere even further away from home than New York, where I could learn and grow in new ways. The second feeling was relentless anxiety.
You spend months building a new network at NYU--you find people that bring NyQuil to your room at 11:30 PM when you’re sick, people that get frustrated for you when you can’t figure out how to do a Micro problem, and people that stay on the phone with you when you walk home alone when it’s dark out. In a single portal update, that network seems to collapse upon itself.
It’s not that you don’t think you’ll find more people to build a new network with abroad. It’s not even that you don’t think you’ll be able to build a new life abroad, but it’s the basic fear that you’ll get replaced because New York is too big to stop moving without you. Because who will your best friend grab Dollar Pizza with after your late night essay submissions? Will that person make jokes that slap just as hard as yours do? That seat you always claim in the West 4th Starbucks to read in--will someone else sit there to drink their coffee before a 9:30 AM class? You’re the person that eats all the Peanut M&M’s from the UC vending machine. Is that slot just going to stay mostly full when you’re gone? Does anyone on this campus love Peanut M&M’s as much as you do? Probably not, I promise.
We can’t find a definitive answer to any of these questions, and that’s what makes this process of packing up and leaving so difficult. Here are some tips to help you make sense of this vague anxiety you feel and cope with it:
By: Amanda Pechock
It’s April! The start of this month marks that we’re officially more than halfway through the spring semester. But more importantly (in my opinion), April is the last full month of the school year! *Cue daydreams of sandy toes, sun rays, and pina coladas in paradise*
Despite the relaxed mindsets, our workloads are certainly singing a different tune. Whether you still have a few pesky “midterms” left (can’t we just call them exams at this point?), or group projects with deadlines barreling towards you, it is still so important to remain calm, cool, collected and motivated.
We need to all remain focused during the final push because doing so will facilitate a productive and well deserved break for our future selves. How guilty would you feel checking gradebook from the shores of Laguna Beach, or the couch in your air conditioned family room, only to find out that you bombed your microeconomics final due to lack of studying? Guilty enough to send knots to your stomach and ruin your summer vacation?
Follow these simple tips to keep yourself in check as the weather gets warmer and each day it gets a little bit harder to sit down and focus on whatever school oriented tasks need attention.
By: Jada Yang
1. Judd Foundation
Just a short 10-minute walk from campus, the Judd Foundation is anything but your ordinary museum-going experience. In fact, it’s not even a museum! Artist Donald Judd purchased this five-story cast-iron house in 1968 and spent the remainder of his life renovating the building and curating each floor with the pictorial and sculptural work of his contemporaries to fit his unique minimalist vision resulting in a building that can only be classified as a museum-house-artwork hybrid! The building is accessible only by docent-led tours so make sure you book a visit a week in advance here! (Tickets are $12.50 for students and $25 for the general public.)
2. Galeria Melissa
Ever wondered what would happen if brazilian plastic footwear retail and contemporary art had a baby? Well look no further because Galeria Melissa has blessed us with the answer to the question no one asked and we are grateful! With products on display dispersed throughout each room, the gallery doubles as a shoe store. Galeria Melissa is constantly evolving with different experiential installations rotating in and out each season. Past installations include kaleidoscopic light and mirror shows. The cherry on top? The gallery is only a 13-minute walk from Tisch Hall. To learn more, click here.
3. Roll & Hill
Last but definitely not least, Roll & Hill, a lighting studio founded in 2010 by designer Jason Miller, is worth the 16 minute walk from campus! Roll & Hill collaborates with independent designers to customize and hand-craft lighting fixtures that mix contemporary and historical design elements for specific clients “on demand”. If you’re interested in architecture, design, or simply admiring exquisite craftsmanship, this is the place for you! Click here to learn more and happy exploring!
By: Sydney Cheng
Sustainability is all the trend nowadays: from Starbucks going straw free to restaurants offering compostable single-use plastics, sustainability has infiltrated restaurants, kitchens, and Instagram feeds. Out of all the trends that have taken over the internet, I am glad that this one makes the world a better place not only for us but for the generations to come. But I didn’t always feel this way. How is one plastic straw or one plastic cup going to negatively impact the climate, the polar bears, or my life in any way? I thought. The truth of the matter is that it won’t, at least not immediately. But when billions of people think the same way, plastic enters our oceans, trash fills the landfills. Eventually, we will be forced to face the consequences. It is better to make a few small, sustainable adjustments to help our planet now than to wait for the situation to become even more dire. As a student, there are small ways to live more sustainably. Because I am an economics student, I am aware of students’ concerns about the price they will have to pay to be sustainable. But the costs of living a sustainable lifestyle–a tiny extra amount of time, energy, and effort–are greatly outweighed by their benefits: less waste, a healthier planet, a more sustainable life.
Here are a few easy tips for students who want to be more sustainable!
If you’re new to sustainability, straws are a great way to start. Making a more sustainable straw choice, whether plant-based or reusable, is easy to implement in your life. I enjoy using my reusable silicon straw from Seastraws Co., a paper/reusable straw company founded by NYU students! Get your own here. However, if you’re a boba fanatic like me, a wide straw is also a necessity.
I like to bring my own mason jar to coffee shops: not only does it make me look ten times more hipster, but I’m also reducing the use of single-use plastic. In addition, lots of places give you a discount for bringing your own mug/thermos, including Boba Guys and Starbucks.
The fashion industry is the second-most polluting industry in the world. The rise of fast-fashion, the production of cheap clothes that are worn for one season and thrown out the next, not only creates large amounts of waste but also encourages unfair labor practices. While it is true that ethically-produced, better quality clothing will cost more, it will last longer and have a better environmental impact. Buying fewer cheap items will save you money in the long run. Instead of buying a new item of clothing next time, check out your local thrift store or Poshmark. Click here for a complete guide on buying ethical clothes.
4. Buy local!
Using locally grown products has many benefits, both personal and societal. Foods grown locally are healthier for you: they have more nutrients because, instead of traveling for weeks in an airplane, they are allowed to ripen naturally. Reducing the distance your food has to travel to get to you also decreases the amount of pollution used to transport your food. Finally, buying local supports farmers in your community and their families. Even though the eggs from your farmers’ market is more expensive than, say, a $2 dozen of eggs, the food you are putting into your body is healthier and safer for you and has a positive impact on both the ecosystem and the farmers in your community.
5. Grocery shopping
An easy way to cut down on plastic waste while grocery shopping is to use reusable produce bags. I use a combination mesh and linen produce bags from Whole Foods, which are very similar to these. A bigger way to make the way you grocery shop more sustainable would be to go to a waste-free grocery store, such as Precycle NYC. Everything–from cleaning supplies and pickles to pasta and spices–is sold without packaging. You bring your own clean container and buy in bulk! Buying food that’s without plastic packaging likely that it’s not processed–meaning it’s probably healthier for you than a bag of potato chips or a package of candy.
By: Siri Ranganath
The day after snowfall, the streets are filled with graphite-colored sludge. The roads are slippery, water is seeping into your shoes, and you want nothing more than to be free of the dark muck that covers the sidewalks. If this leftover snow manages to refreeze, it’s even worse.
Why? Because if you’re accident-prone, like me, you’re sure to fall on slick surfaces. It was one of these days following a snowstorm when I had picked up my dinner from Kimmel to take home and eat. In one hand, I had my box of meal-swiped sushi, and in my other, I had a bag of groceries. The Kimmel staircase was adorned with snowy footprints, and as I descended, I slipped and toppled down the whole thing.
I had, quite literally, rolled into a finance recruiting event being held at Kimmel, with many suit-wearing Stern students standing in the lobby in anticipation. With my bright snow boots and unkempt hair--which, at this point, was covered in sushi--I felt underdressed and unprepared for an event I wasn’t even there for. In the midst of young men and women who seemed to know exactly what they wanted from their careers, I stuck out.
The only thing that could make this experience worse was running into my classmates at this recruitment event, pushing me into a panic. Why are freshmen already recruiting? Am I supposed to be going to these, and if so, am I already too late to start working on my career?
This experience is an example of what I call the Freshman Freak Out. As freshmen, seeing upperclassmen advance professionally makes us feel as if we have to join them immediately, leading us to think that if we don’t, we’ll be left behind in the job market. Our anxiety worsens when we see the Freak Out manifest in some of our peers, who will attend every networking and recruiting event in the hopes of getting ahead for the future.
But to every Stern freshman who reads this post and feels the Freak Out, I have a few tips:
And my biggest tip is to walk down the Kimmel stairs slowly so you don’t fall in front of your classmates. If you do fall, then take my next advice--when you find bits of sushi in your hair, don’t cower in shame. Walk out of that building with pride, pride that avocado stains on your clothes do not make you any less deserving of the success the world has to offer.
By: Raffi Laitamaki
As a student at the Stern School of Business, we constantly hear that “businesses can create positive social change.” Every week, we learn about apps that are helping to close the wealth gap and investments that are socially conscious, but sometimes these ideas seem too good to be true. Sometimes, as the world we live in continues to disappoint us, we are left questioning whether or not businesses can really drive change.
However, last spring, the Stern International Volunteers Ghana Program (SIV Ghana) reminded me that social impact is the future and businesses can create real change for women in particular. Through the SIV Ghana program, I had the opportunity to spend my spring break in Woadze Tsatoe, a rural Ghanaian village, developing a micro-business and working on volunteer projects.
Two years ago, NYU students participating in the SIV Ghana program realized that women in Woadze Tsatoe wanted more job opportunities. In order to empower women and provide an alternative source of revenue for them, NYU students helped launch a textile business: the Amenuveve Batik Cooperative.
The women in Woadze Tsatoe who work for the Amenuveve Batik Cooperative create beautiful fabrics using traditional block printing techniques. Previously, these women were living off less than one dollar a day, but today they are running a successful micro business that provides them with higher wages. These women are creating change in their community by proving that women are capable of far more than cooking and cleaning- they are an inspiration.
In order to continue expanding the batik business, the students participating in the SIV Ghana program last year helped the Amenuveve Batik Cooperative improve their production process, marketing materials, and financial records. We also hosted a trunk show in the United States to sell the Amenuveve Batik Cooperative products such as backpacks and laptop cases. The partnership between the SIV Program and the Woadze Tsatoe community has allowed the business to flourish in recent years, and this growth has also positively impacted the children in the community in particular.
A study by the World Bank proved that when women control more household income children benefit as a result of increased spending on food and education. Therefore, increasing the income for women in Woadze Tsatoe improves the well being of their children, and when I was working in Ghana I saw this dedication to family first hand. On the first day in the village, I saw a woman who was mixing hot wax for the batik products while her baby was strapped to her back. Most of the women took care of their children as they worked in the batik business, and their devotion to their family was absolutely astonishing. Ultimately, the SIV Ghana Program proves that businesses can create real change, and I would encourage every Stern student to participate in the program.
By: Liz Chen
Living in New York City comes with a lot of cool perks. There’s an endless amount of food to try, so many sights to see, and incredibly diverse neighborhoods to explore. Art, in all its forms, is something that has always been extremely important to me so one perk I’ve taken advantage of is the city’s amazing theater scene. Given how expensive living in the city can be and how costly tickets typically are, I’ve gotten good at finding free or discounted tickets to fulfill my Broadway obsession. Keep reading to learn my tips!
1. Take advantage of Stern
Stern has a lot of money and they like to spend it on us! You’re paying a lot of money to go to NYU, so take advantage of that! The Cohen Arts & Culture Experience, better known as CACE, is Stern’s flagship arts event series that occurs every fall semester. For CACE, freshmen get first dibs on selecting a free ticket to a Broadway show (and if you’re not into that, you can opt to attend a sports event). Sign-ups are open to upperclassmen later. Last year, I saw Aladdin and this year I signed up for Kinky Boots (but ended up not going). Pro tip: if spots are filled, there is an option to sign up for a waitlist spot but despite the official sign-up roster and waitlist, many people don’t show up on the day of for various reasons. If you just show up, there is a chance you can grab one of those extra tickets; that’s how I got to see Mean Girls this year! Stern will even give you a Metrocard.
Student Council also periodically hosts “Experience NYC” events, where you can enter a raffle to win a pair of tickets! You may have to pay a small copay (up to about $20) but it’s completely worth it. Last year I won tickets to see The Book of Mormon. Be sure to look out for Stuco’s newsletters for opportunities to enter raffles.
2. Attend events with your dorm
Not everyone lives in NYU housing, but for those who do (especially freshmen!!), there are plenty of opportunities to see shows. Most residence halls allow residents to enter lottery drawings for various events; some are free and others require a small copay (but like the RA’s say, “if funds are low, let them know” and they’ll help you out). Last year I saw Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen with Rubin and this year I’ve entered for Waiting for Godot. Check out your residence hall’s weekly newsletter and keep your eyes open for events you might be interested in!
3. Use NYU Box Office and Skirball
NYU’s Box Office sells discounted tickets to shows and movies; see their list here and check out their website for more helpful tips on finding discounts. If you like theater but don’t want to go uptown, Skirball hosts a variety of performances, including plays, dances, and talks.
The Box Office and Skirball also send out helpful newsletters. I scored free tickets to Carousel through a link to an external website in one of the Box Office emails. Sign up for Box Office emails here and Skirball’s newsletter here if you haven’t already.
4. Enter online lotteries
These are a long shot, but that doesn’t stop me from entering for Hamilton tickets every day. Lucky Seat has a lot of shows you can enter the lottery for and many other Broadway and off-Broadway shows have their own websites—find more details here.
Hope these tips are helpful in securing your next Broadway adventure!
By: Simmi Uppaladadium
Whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior, you have been subjected to the constant frenzy and second-hand stress of recruiting for finance.
So what exactly is this daunting time of your undergraduate career? “Recruiting” basically refers to the time when you’re actively applying to and interviewing for internship positions for your junior summer. While this process used to happen during your junior fall semester, it seems that the process has gotten earlier every year. Current juniors went through the process their sophomore spring, but current sophomores? Applications are already opening up for summer 2020.
How unfair is that? You haven’t taken classes in finance yet or are probably taking your first one. The pressure sets in from those around you to “just recruit for investment banking” because the process happens the earliest and is probably the most straightforward. And if you’re freaking out right now because you haven’t even thought about what you want to do, fear not. I’m about to outline what the typical process looks like for an undergraduate woman in business (this is USWIB after all.)
Step 1: Firm-wide events and networking.
Many of the larger firms will come to NYU and hold “firm wides” at either Wasserman, Kimmel, or during a club meeting. They’ll have professionals from different groups in the firm there to answer your questions about what they do at work and you can find what interests you. Ask for business cards from people you have interesting conversations with and want to learn more from!
Step 2: Coffee Chats
Your goal is not to coffee chat as many people as you possibly can. It’s quality over quantity. Reach out to the professionals who gave you their card and ask to set up a time to talk on the phone or meet in person, and make sure you have questions prepared for your 30 minute – 1 hour meeting. Don’t forget to follow up and thank them for their time. You want this to be a long lasting connection, not just someone who you talk to once.
Step 3: Picking a group within finance.
The major categories can be loosely defined as follows: Investment Banking, Sales & Trading, Research, Capital Markets, Asset Management, Private Equity, and Venture Capital. For more information about each of these “buckets” of career paths, go to any large firm’s website to read more or use resources like Wall Street Oasis and Investopedia. More career options definitely exist, but these tend to be the most popular.
Step 4: The application process.
Apply on the firm’s website, and check constantly for deadlines and when apps open. (Ask recruiters if they recruit on a rolling basis.) You’ll most likely be contacted within the next week for a HireVue – a video interview where you record your answers – and if they like you based on that, you’ll be called in for a “super day” interview. This will be a few back to back interviews, usually a half hour each, with different members in the firm. And if they like you, congrats! You just landed a junior summer internship.
Obviously, a lot more goes into this whole process and you’ll likely feel stressed when it seems like all your peers are getting internships but you’re not. Remember that you have upperclassmen to help you out and your friends to support you. You can do this!