SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
When I was first considering what the most important take away from the Starr Career Development Center’s 7th Annual CIS & Entrepreneurship Panel was, the term “stick-to-it-ive” performed constant hippocampus gymnastics in my brain. I tried to ignore it, believe me; I did, because I kept saying stick-to-it-ive is not a word Meeckel. But the applicability and salient nature of the term “stick-to-it-ive” to the lessons from the panelists taunted and forced me to do what any well thinking student of Baruch College would; consult a dictionary. According to Dictionary.com stick-to-it-ive is the nature of being “tenaciously resolute and preserving”. Used in an example, “stick-to-it-ive people get ahead in life”. Yes, the word is informal, but it has great value in this context and that’s exactly why I just could not let it go.
Passion and Value
As an entrepreneur, you are essentially putting yourself out there by leaving the safety of a ‘9-5 to stay alive’, it is “a decision from your heart” Hide Harashima, CTO of engageSimply said. You have to be tenaciously resolute with a passion for creating and providing value added services that meet a gap in need or want. Baruch Alum and Kognito CEO Ron Goldman mentioned that your venture may be difficult, but it belongs to you and you have an additional advantage because it is much easier to create a start-up in New York today than it was 15 years ago.
Once your passion has become a tangible idea, remember that partnerships are important. All panelists suggested having careful consideration when choosing your partner. “Treat it like a marriage; your business partner must be equally as passionate about the venture as you are” Andrew Young of Start Up Weekend NYC encouraged students. Ron Goldman demonstrated the value of partnerships by telling the students that Kognito evolved from a partnership with his colleagues while he was at Baruch. “You have many students on campus with great ideas, what you can’t do another student might be able to” he told the students. This is important especially for students who say that industry professionals are hard to network with. Start by working within your immediate network to launch your ideas and create your project, but remember it is never about choosing the first person that comes along. Partnering requires considering complementary skill. Stanislav Mamonov, Founder of MintRight and Mintfinder suggested that first you must define your strengths, can you build or can you sell, these are the two main job functions in a start-up. If both, awesome, if one, then select a partner that can contribute to the area that you are weaker in.
The entire panel agreed that applicable practical knowledge of industry and technologies are important for hiring managers. You should know how to use the programs and you must be analytical. Companies are looking for people who can solve problems. Hide Harashima suggested that students should develop their skills through internships, their own projects, partnerships and volunteerism. It is, of course also necessary to network with people you would like to eventually work with, however when reaching out be prepared to be specific, the “Hi, how can you help me” line is never a good approach. Think about what you want and can offer, then plan and execute your approach. This tenacity that is required for success is exactly why stick-to-it-ive was doing a series of tumbling in my brain.