My "first times"
Today it’s been a pretty important day. A day full of first times. Well, I ain’t gonna go into very deep stuff, it’s quite late (again, almost 3 am) to think about that specific First Time you are now thinking about. These other first times aren’t in capital letters.
The day has started early at 9 am with my first exam, statistics. Four pretty long problems that I haven’t been able to finish (pretty much the same than most of my class mates). It’s weird to feel again what taking an exam is (the GMAT and the TOEFL are a different thing), so many years later. All the problems implied numeric results and since I’ve not double-check them with anybody I don’t know what the outcome will be.
Later in the evening I have attended a conference given my Chuck Prince, the CEO of Citigroup. My first conference so far. This kind of stuff is what definitely makes Stern different. These are the kinds of advantages of being located where it actually is. A great opportunity.
After the conference, first physical approach to networking. I have already written about the importance placed on networking at Stern and on how important it is to make contacts and to try to use them properly. I had already sent out in the past days a number of emails to my (very limited) contact list, asking for some pieces of advise and… for further contacts in companies/industries of my interest. I felt kinda embarrashed and uncomfortable...However, the physical approach is much more difficult.
As I said before, I have experienced such physical approach today for the first time. You see the target (a recruiter, very often, although not necessarily, an alum from the school), you study who she/he is with, you wait for the right moment, you try not only not to eat anything of what is being offered at the reception but also to prevent your hands from sweating while you try to figure out how to break the ice and what to say to a person you’ve never seen before and to whom you want to appear as a potential good candidate. You get there and….
….well, in my case it’s been good! I have actually talked to two of them and one has given me her business card to send her an email with a couple of queries. A good start. It sounds silly but I was kinda high after this "successful" first adventure.
Later, before heading back home I have gone through my last first time of today: hairdresser’s. It isn’t easy to find the right place in a new city but following a friend’s recommendation I have ended up at the place of an Italian guy who has been living in NY for forty years. Not bad at all.
Tomorrow I will have my first big networking event: a meeting with Stern alumni organized by the Graduate Finance Association. A good opportunity to get some insights and to try to get some business cards from guys working in finance stuff. Btw, hard to believe but I will need to get the suit and the tie out of the closet. The race is about to start. Go!