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One Year Since I've Posted - Life Updates/Reflections

It's been almost a year since I've posted here on NotePd. During that time, I've been busy working at a public university in the Bronx, NY. I've been tasked with helping Computer Science students find internships and jobs (mostly in tech, since that is the industry CS students want to get into, and that is where all the money is these days).

I've hosted a podcast called the Built In The Bronx Podcast (check us out here: builtinthebronx.com). The podcast has been a TON of fun. Interviewing our students and giving them a moment to shine is very fulfilling. Additionally, we've used the podcast as a tool for tech founders and hiring managers to promote their companies (we ask that they consider hiring our students). I've met some really interesting people in tech that I otherwise probably wouldn't have if it weren't for the podcast.

Additionally, in the past year, I've managed to travel to Havana, Cuba and will be headed to Dubai next month (very exciting!).

One Year Since I've Posted - Life Updates/Reflections
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    1. Landing a job/internship in the tech industry is brutally competitive.

    One of the first conversations I had with a tech CEO went like this "I have Ivy League students who apply who are willing to work this internship for free. Why should I hire your students who I will have to pay?" What a luxury it must be to be able to consider a job opportunity that pays nothing! For the vast majority of us who actually have to get paid to survive, this is a huge obstacle to landing a good opportunity.

    Our students are going through internship season right now, and many of them are experiencing heavy doses of rejection. Like David Gie said on episode 6 of the podcast, it took him 300 applications to get one opportunity. Tech opportunities are not for the faint of heart!

    2. Working with young people is very fulfilling.

    I never saw myself working in education (especially as someone who is very critical of higher education in America). But I must admit, I look forward to working with our students every day. They're super bright, creative, and a joy to be around. They keep me young and I learn so much from them. As students in the Bronx, I can tell you for certain that nothing has been handed to them. They fight adversity like poverty, drugs, crime, and malnutrition every day. They are incredible and they deserve the best. If you are hiring and would like an introduction to one or more of our students, please let me know!

    3. The diversity in NYC is incredible.

    I've worked with students/professors from Ghana, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Malawi, Burkina Faso (one of the poorest countries in the world), Albania, China, Russia, and more. I've gotten the opportunity to sharpen my Spanish skills, and even use basic Russian words. As someone who is of a mixed background, I feel right at home. It truly is a melting pot and there's no place like it.

    4. A podcast is an incredible networking tool.

    Through the Built In The Bronx podcast, I've gotten to meet the CTO of a Health Tech company valued at $3 million last I checked, a serial entrepreneur with experience in banking, real estate, consulting and podcasting, a software engineer at a mental health company valued at $70 million, and I've got episodes with more founders of interesting companies lined up. I probably wouldn't have met any of them otherwise.

    Start your podcast! It will result in unforeseen opportunities and interesting connections to add to your network. I probably won't ever create a podcast that rivals the James Altucher Show or the Joe Rogan Show, but that's not why I started mine. They're so much fun to do!

    5. Idea lists work.

    When I was interviewing for the role that I have right now, I shared a list of ten ideas that I would implement if I were offered the job. It worked. Listen to James Altucher and follow his daily practice. COVID knocked me on my ass - financially, emotionally, etc. But I've survived the worst and now I'm doing better.

    6. Havana, Cuba was quite the experience.

    I spent a week in Havana, Cuba in April. I had some time off and wanted to go somewhere that I've never been. So I found a deal on Google Flights and went. The poverty there is quite sad. It truly makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have been born, raised, and now living/working in/around NYC.

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