Sarang Ahuja | Finance

Leader, Financial Expert, Game Changer

Tag: Start-ups

What I Did During My Summer Vacation—Sarang Ahuja

What I Did Over My Summer Vacation (Wasn’t An Internship)

If you’re a college student, then a paid internship is the holy grail of a summer vacation—a way to make money while also advancing career prospects. It’s a rite of passage for many students, and it can be devastating to see others land their ideal internships while you’re stuck with nothing to do over the summer.

Worry no more; if you’re a college student looking to advance your career over the summer, there are plenty of other avenues available to you that are guaranteed not to require getting other people coffee.

Find Odd Jobs

I don’t just mean mowing lawns or walking dogs (though that is an option). Look for temporary work in your area geared toward your interests. Even if it’s for a nonprofit group, doing work for their benefit can give you something to boost your resume. It’s also a great way to learn how the working environment functions, something that can be hard to gauge through college classes. Take the time to research specialty jobs that may be relevant to you; for instance, if you’re a writer, local papers may need assistance covering stories.

It’s also worth considering day long shadowing opportunities to get another good look at the workplace environment in your industry.

Volunteer

Speaking of nonprofits, pursuing volunteering experiences can be valuable for a resume even if it isn’t necessarily in your area of expertise. Not only that, but there are often leadership opportunities available through nonprofits. Consider spearheading a project and giving yourself something to be proud of.

Complete Summer Classes

Ease the burden of your college career by taking summer classes! Even if your college is far away, consider looking into knocking out a few requirements online or at your local community college. If your schedule is a bit hectic, it can cut down on your stress and even save money in many cases. For that matter, you can even use your extra time to complete an internship later on.

Research

Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate research opportunities over summers. For an individual considering grad school, research is a big standout come application season. Even outside of this, research offers an in-depth look at the working of industries even beyond math and science. Consider asking about grants that your school offers to help support you in these endeavors.

Start a Business

The growth of technology has allowed for the spread of ideas at an unprecedented rate. If you see an opportunity in a field you’re studying, or even just have a solid grasp of a particular skill, consider becoming an entrepreneur. From writing to design to building websites, there are many skills that you can hawk to those interested, all while earning money and learning.

Study Abroad

Not every life experience has to relate to work. By studying abroad for a summer, you demonstrate to employers your willingness to venture outside of your comfort zone and try new experiences. Plus, it gives you more opportunities to learn and work toward that sweet, sweet college credit. Consider some of the places you’ve always wanted to see, and form experiences that you’ll have for the rest of your life!

Motivational Business Video: Success Stories of Apple, Google, Facebook, Oprah, and Amazon

The phrase rags to riches often refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth in all areas in life. As this term continues to represent the idea and concept of the American dream, we need to understand what is the true fuel and drive for those successful individuals like Elon Musk or Mark Cuban. In the United States, thousands of individuals are embarking on the journey as investors and entrepreneurs to make that American dream a tangible reality. Oftentimes, these people will be faced with the harsh questions and obstacles on their road to success. This is usually common. Regardless of how difficult the situation is, you always need to believe in yourself and the business. Elon Musk once said that, “if something is important enough, you should try it even if the probable outcome is failure.” To have that belief, to have that relentless attitude will the the sole game changer in how successful your business is.

In this video, created and produced by Evolution Media, you will find a variety of content, interviews, and responses from some of the greatest business leaders of our time. This video itself is meant to inspire others and show the mentality, hard work, and passion that these business leaders had through the high and lows of their careers.

Tech Start-Ups in a Cyclical Market

econ cycle

A recent article in the New York Times ends with the following quote from Bill Gurley, a prominent venture capitalist, regarding current tech start-ups. “Lots of founders today weren’t around in 1999, and they don’t know a thing about financial markets beyond what’s happened in the last 24 months…. To them that’s how this game is played, money is cheap and everything goes up. That’s why we have cycles.”

The cheap money comment deserves further discussion. The fact is that a lot of current tech start-ups have existed mostly or entirely in a period of economic growth, during a time when investors have been forthcoming with funds. “Over the last few years, start-up share prices have gone up nearly every time a private company has raised money. Investors were largely optimistic and generous because they assumed that a variety of factors – including low interest rates, a strengthening American economy and the growing Chinese middle class – would keep the markets positive. Spending more to help a start-up grow into a huge company seemed like a reasonable bet.” It’s worth noting the factors leading to optimism mentioned in that quote. Low interest rates are not something that will go on forever, and raising the rate has been discussed in the financial press a lot lately. The strengthening American economy is going through it’s first major hiccup in a couple of years. The Chinese middle class, while still growing, now finds itself in a country with a slumping economy.

Ultimately, start-ups that have been smart with their money, have solid business plans, and show clear paths toward profitability will still attract capital and will remain strong. The ones that don’t won’t. It’s obviously impossible for every company to grow continuously, and those that have striking weaknesses, though they may be able to hide them during a time of growth and general prosperity, won’t be able to during a down cycle. It’s called an economic correction for a reason.

Finance in Silicon Valley

sarangahuja_fintechRecently, Kevin Roose, writer for NY Mag, talked about his bank and how he was charged an overdraft fee.  He wanted to find a disruptive bank and thought that Silicon Valley might be the right place to look.  Why?  Firstly, the tech world is interested in the finance sector because of the sheer amount of money that is involved within.  Financial services account for $1.2 trillion and financial tech companies in the U.S. known as fintech actually raised $1.3 billion in the last quarter for start-ups.

There is another reason as well.  Banks still operate a high amount on the old-line corporate structure that Roose mentions is bloated and creaky.  Something as simple as applying for a loan takes an inordinate amount of time to get through the system simply to the process of passing through many different departments and many different hands.  Also, intermediaries are requiring cuts everywhere, which means the customer is paying fees left and right to be a member of the bank and conduct everyday transactions.

The lucrative market is going to be too good to pass up for a lot of techies however because even though undercutting big banks will speed up the process it isn’t as sexy as some may say, according to Roose.

Roose also mentions that banks of the past are really just conglomerated and bundled together groups that provide a variety of services based on need and years of acquisitions with other market players and consolidations.  Breaking up the bundles will actually help the fintech start-ups looking to get in on the market and it makes the idea of getting in on the action a lot more feasible for these groups.

The new wave of finance is taking place all over.  From companies starting an app to check balances on gift cards to other start-ups attacking core functions of the bank, it appears that Silicon Valley will have influence somewhere in the financial sector, just how exactly will it look?

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