Posted by: Laura Meyer
I have always been a bit stubborn in my ways. Which partly explains why a week ago I packed up my things, bought a one-way ticket, and moved to NYC. I landed in the big apple unemployed, having just graduated college, and still lacking long-term housing. My friends and family thought I was crazy, but my optimistic ways worked out the following morning when I agreed to start a Business Development fellowship with DevShop. After the first few days employed at a startup this is what I’ve learned:
1. Jeans are always appropriate
I grew up in a conservative family where my mother believed jeans were only appropriate for Fridays and I was never allowed to wear jeans to any formal, religious, or business event. I lived in dresses. Working in startup though, I left the floral prints at home and adopted jeans and button downs. I’m digging the modern business casual.
2. I’m clueless
It is almost comical the amount of time I spent in college working on group project, studying, taking exams, and writing papers to come to the conclusion that I’m still clueless! I haven’t even begun to dent the surface of the amount of information I need to know to be successful. Frankly, it is slightly overwhelming but I’m ready for the challenge!
3. Always eat the free food
If you don’t eat it someone else will. If you don’t take an opportunity, someone else will. I’m a “starving college graduate.” I’m starving to learn, for opportunities, and occasionally for food. Take advantage of the meetup events that are constantly going on in NYC. They help “satisfy” the hunger. Free food doesn’t last long, just like a good opportunity won’t wait for you. Take advantage of every opportunity, especially when its free food.
4. Startup isn’t an industry, it’s a community
There is a difference between networking and truly connecting with a person. Networking comes off as rather dry, but when you connect with a person you trust them and are able to have a strong relationship. Startup isn’t an industry, but a community. It isn’t hard to find mentors and peers that will help and discuss different struggles. You just have to put yourself out there. Many entrepreneurs have similar problems, but the startup community helps support those with dreams and drive.
5. Its a new language
Everyone shortens everything. It is no longer business development, but biz dev.
FinTech = financial technology. We aren’t a development shop, we are DevShop!
Entrepreneurs are busy people and if there is a way to make something more efficient, they implement it.