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South Asian Allyship in the Age of BLM

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South Asian Allyship in the Age of BLM

 

It’s bad to be Black in Desi culture.

Hasan Minhaj described it best. We shy away from the awkward discussions at the dinner table, let the racist comments slide, because, what do our parents know? British colonization (which ceased in India as late as 1947) had adverse effects on our parent’s values and biases. They grew up surrounded by Fair and Lovely ads, taunted by their classmates and parents for being “kala” (which means dark, or black in Hindi and carries a negative connotation), and exposed to these notions of anti-Blackness subtly throughout their lives. It only makes sense that once they immigrated, they translated these biases into American society. These stereotypes were reinforced by the de-facto racism that plagues our social and political institutions and the harmful rhetoric that our leaders spew, brushing the notion of white privilege under the rug.

Spending all of my formative years in Staten Island, New York, sheltered in the most-suburban and least-diverse borough of New York City, I easily internalized the casual racism and the “model minority” myth touted around my community. My parents instilled in me the drive that us first-generation Indian kids know too well. Anyone can work hard, get into the best-gifted programs and magnet schools, get the highest scores on all standardized tests, and eventually, get into the college of their dreams. So when I began attending a magnet school in Coney Island, Brooklyn, I was armed with the notion that everyone had an equal means of succeeding if they worked hard enough. Attending this school, however, came with an unintended side effect- for the first time in my life, I was exposed to children of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. I went to school with the children of Academy Award winners, Ivy League legacies, and, alternatively, low-income students with drug-addicted and absent parents. Interacting with my peers helped me discern the intersectionality of race and socioeconomic status- it just so happened that the majority of the low-income students were people of color. It enabled my understanding that only a few years into their schooling, these students were already at a significant disadvantage compared to their privileged peers. But it was not until I took AP United States History my junior year of high school, however, that I could pinpoint the institutionalized racism in America, and the ripple-effect of longstanding policies that allow it to proliferate and adversely affect our Black community. It took an optional Advanced Placement class for me to recognize the significant whitewashing of our history curriculums, and the Eurocentric ideals that govern our social norms and beliefs, the effect of which has not been lost on the Asian community.

As Asian students, we proudly tout this “model minority” narrative, in which our immigrant parents have excelled as business leaders, innovators, and pillars of American society. We buy into this myth that we made it because we did the hard work, the work that our fellow Black Americans are too “lazy” for. We are so quick to ally ourselves with conservative groups intent on ripping apart affirmative action admissions processes, despite the fact that our minority is overrepresented at these leading academic institutions, and have minimal barriers to entry compared to our Black peers. What we fail to recognize, however, is that our families could only immigrate to this country subsequent to the Civil Rights movement, through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which increased Asian immigration by five times. We turn a blind eye to the fact that our success in America has been directly contingent upon the bravery and struggle of the Black community throughout the 60s. We buy into this divide and blissfully ignore our privilege as non-Black people of color. And now, our silence is deafening. How is it that we proudly support examples of Black excellence such as the Obamas, rappers, and NFL and NBA athletes but remain silent as our Black brothers and sisters are ruthlessly murdered in our communities by the very force that has sworn to protect them? How is it that we ingratiate Black culture into our own through the likes of Nav and Drake, but are hesitant to step forward and speak up against the injustices and casual racism that persist in our Desi communities? How is it that we have normalized our silence on these issues, simply because they don’t affect us? 

A lot of us, as first and second-generation immigrants have the privilege of handpicking the elements of our culture that we identify with. And for us, racism and the model minority myth will not be one of them. Educate yourself, it is not the burden of Black people to educate you. Have those tough conversations at the dinner table. Share Black stories. Uplift Black voices. Utilize your privilege and platform to support the people and culture we revere so deeply. For our Black communities, this is more than just an Instagram trend. It’s reality. 

 

Educational Resources

  • To Watch:
    • Stream “Views for a Vision” to donate money to BLM
    • When They See Us
    • 13th
    • Dear White People
    • Who Killed Malcolm X?
    • All Day And A Night
  • To Read:
    • Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making Black Lives Matter, by Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith
    • No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality, by Jordan Flaherty
    • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
    • Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi
    • This Book is Antiracist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work, by Tiffany Jewell
  • To Donate:
    • Black Lives Matter: funding the BLM movement
    • Innocence Project: Non-profit dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions and bring reform to the justice system
    • National Bail Out: Black-led and Black-centered organization aiming to create a national community of leaders who have experienced incarceration
    • Black Visions Collective: Minnesota-based Black, trans, and queer-led organization committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence
    • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund: Nationwide organization that fights for racial justice and investigates police-involved murder

It is Not Enough to be Non-racist

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It is Not Enough to be Non-racist

 

In the last week, as these events have unfolded, I’ve been going through a range of emotions including feelings of anger, distress, sadness, and at times, helplessness. Aside from taking action, I’ve found myself often letting thoughts race through my mind for long periods of time. They often weigh me down with angst and stress, but I’ve begun to find ease in just voicing them. With the support and platform provided to me here by Scholars of Finance as a black member of the organization, I’m able to further do that. One of these thoughts has been tied with the increased circulation of the Angela Davis quote: “It is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” This powerful and truly poignant quote is extremely relevant to the moment we are in, but I’ve begun to inexplicably see negative sentiments from white people arising towards the quote, questioning it and seeing it as almost “too pressured”, that’s it “unnecessary” to be making such distinction almost as if it’s petty in the wider scope of the movement. It’s pained me to see and read such reactions to the quote and expression, and to see that some people aren’t understanding the interpretation or meaning behind it.

In voicing my thoughts I want to shed some of my own light and personal perspective on the quote. In channeling my experience, I want to show there is entire validity to that expression, and for people to truly understand why it’s meaning is important within this movement.

I want you to put yourself in my shoes. You have a young niece living on the east coast. Your sister and her family are expecting a second child due this year. That’s two close, immediate young relatives who you wish the best and would do anything for. Whether it’s for them to have the best opportunity in life, be treated fairly, be able to live their lives without fear, go about their lives doing the things that everyone should be able to do without any worry, judgment, or prejudice against them; that’s what I want you to imagine. For someone that was of your family, looked like you, that was of not just your blood but of your ethnicity and you just wanted what was fair for them, but that the world around you just isn’t a place where that is possible. You have a friend aware of the situation you face, that they are aware that you are fighting for someone who is of your family, who you care deeply about, who you want to see treated the same as everyone else, just as you wish you were, but you want to fight for them. I want you to imagine that you ask your friend, “where do you stand on this topic?” 

Of course, you would hope that people would stand on your side where they are with you, they support you, they are there willing to fight alongside you for something as evidently important as this, for something as basic and fundamental as this, in terms of treatment, in terms of how one should be able to justly and equally live their life. That is the true ally.

On the other side of the scale of responses, there is the response of someone who explicitly doesn’t believe that. They believe they shouldn’t fight for you, they explicitly reject your cause, they hold firm that you are wrong, they are on the complete, evident opposite end. That is the obvious bigot, the racist, the oppressor. Hopefully, I don’t need to say too much to shed light on that. We’re aware of what that looks like, especially when expressed in an overt manner.

I then want you to imagine with this same scenario, same instance, you approach a friend and they say “I understand your cause, I understand where you’re coming from, I hate to see it but I’m not going to actively help you, I’m not willing to actively be there for you, I’m not willing to actively do something to help you, in ensuring that your family member, that your younger relative, that someone close to you, that someone who looks like you is treated the same way, is able to live a fair life, is treated in a manner that isn’t oppressive and unjust, is able to go about their life equally as everyone should.” I want you to imagine that a friend or someone you approached or was aware of your situation and took this neutral stance, that they weren’t showing they would be there with you fighting, actively pushing your cause on your side. They’re not saying they’re against you (oh no they wouldn’t say they’re against you), they say they’re not racist, but at the same time they are just going to stay where they are, enabled to do so by the position of their privilege (even if ignorantly unbeknownst to them) and wish you well, but they will not actively support you.

I want you to imagine that you’re in this situation and that it’s your family member, that it’s someone who’s life is at a constant risk just because of the way they look, the way you both look, and a friend or someone you know read a message you’d sent out, has seen the plight, the injustice, the cause, and the situation you yourself, or your family, or someone close to you, or someone who looks like you faces as I’ve described, and yet they’re not ready to actively step forward and actively fight with you for the position you’ve been subjected to. They may be “happy” with the motive of your cause, but they’re not ready to actively champion it with you.


Do you not see how in this situation you’d feel betrayed, upset, angry. You’d feel that their silence, their reluctance to act is just as good to you and to the fight for your cause, as someone who IS the oppressor on the other end of the divide. That is what Angela Davis means when she says “it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.” It is not enough to just say that you observe the injustice and you don’t support it. You must actively fight against it, you must actively be there to support those suffering the injustice. 

Once again imagine that is was a cause a close to home as your family, yourself, your future descendants, your children, your brothers, your sisters, your nieces, your nephews, your people that were in this position and being treated in such a way, and you saw that someone, a friend wasn’t there to support you, that they weren’t there to stand up for your cause with you, to fight alongside you, to actively be out there making a change, making a difference. You would not feel that it’s okay in any regard for them to sit there in silent acceptance, agreeing with your cause only in name. This is what it feels like to be in my shoes. This situation I face and the stance I see so many resided to. That neutral reaction is what in this day and age it means to be “non-racist” instead of being “anti-racist”, and that is not good enough.

You need to be actively against the oppression and police brutality that black people have been facing, against racism that still is prevalent in the lives of so many black people both in the United States and further afield in the Black Lives Matter movement.

A few weeks ago before George Floyd was brutally murdered, I was watching the black comedian Michael Che’s stand-up special on Netflix where he addresses the phrase“Black Lives Matter” itself. He points to how the phrase to some still seems controversial. “Matters.” I repeat “matters.” That it is not an understood aspect of our society that the life of a black person is equal, that we should be treated the same as others, that Black Lives matter and have always mattered. This is where we are at and people seemingly still struggle to openly get behind it, but that is where we as black people are left: marching, protesting and calling for our voices to be heard, and we will continue to do so until the actions and world we see around us reflect that Black Lives do indeed MATTER. As we continue in this movement, please realize non-black people that there is no middle ground. Non-racism is not good enough. People must take action and be actively anti-racist.

Six Questions with Noah Haverlock

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Six Questions with Noah Haverlock

Six Questions with Scholars of Finance is a series intended to highlight the thoughts and lives of our students at Scholars of Finance. In the series the students are simply asked six questions which we think embody the SOF experience and their answers are shared right here on the Scholars of Finance blog. In the first edition of Six Questions with Scholars of Finance we had the pleasure of sitting down with Noah Haverlock, a graduating senior at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

If you are a student and would like to be featured in a segment of Six Questions with Scholars of Finance, please reach out to Jake Kranz via email.

What school do you go to?

University of St. Thomas Class of 2020

Do you have any employment plans in the near future?

I will be joining Chartwell full-time as an ESOP(Employee Stock Ownership Plan) Analyst.

Could you tell me a little bit about your experience with Scholars of Finance so far?

It’s been a long leadership journey for me so far. I’ve been involved with SOF for three years and started as a member of the symposium team in a minor role. From there I wanted to take on more of a leadership role and slowly worked my way up the ranks until I became the president of the chapter this last year. As a part of my role this year I had the opportunity to facilitate the LDP and it was very fulfilling seeing the participants grow.

What is your favorite memory from Scholars of Finance so far?

My first symposium was a big memory especially since I was able to help out behind the scenes. That was the 2018 Symposium back when I was a sophomore. I didn’t know what it would feel like being a part of the leadership team pulling the event together, but it was really cool being a part of something that big.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from Scholars of Finance?

It’s important to think about your values and bring them top of mind before you enter your career. Even if we don’t encounter ethical issues now, we will encounter them in the future. Knowing your values and having a line in the sand to guide you is huge.

If you could tell the next generation of SOF students anything – what would you tell them?

DIVE IN! You’ll get out of SoF what you put in and if there’s anything you’d like to learn about, or any skills you’d like to develop – you can – just ask around. Also, be sure to take advantage of the Speaker Series events and stay in contact with your mentor(s).

Control the 90%

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Control the 90%

 

“Lately, the Charles R. Swindoll quote, ‘life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it,’ has really resonated with me.”

 

A few months ago, I received an internship offer from a company that I have loved for years and was going to be traveling across the country to a place I have always dreamed of living. Unfortunately, with everything surrounding COVID-19, they had to cancel their internship program due to budget cuts. When I got the news, to my surprise, I was relatively calm. Was I disappointed? Of course! This had been a dream of mine for the past few years and just like that, it was gone. However, I kept telling myself to keep things in perspective.

At this point, allowing my attention to gravitate towards everything beyond my control would do me no good. Instead of allowing negative thoughts to creep in, like “why does this have to happen to me”; “I don’t deserve this”; or “I wish I could catch a break”, I repositioned my thinking: what do I have direct influence over? From what I’ve learned in life so far from coaches and mentors of mine, I can only control two things: my attitude and my effort. With this mindset, everything was much simpler and I was able to think clearly.

As Mr. Swindoll was getting at, outside of these two things, I cannot control anything else. When unfavorable events occur, rather than centering your attention on the event itself and its negative impact, consider how you can move forward. This mentality has helped eliminate a lot of the stressors and negative thoughts I previously possessed. So many situations in life are out of our hands, but, at the same time, those in which we can control have a drastic influence on the way we see our world and the impact that we can make in it.

In the weeks and months ahead, my ask of you is to focus on what you can control. In simplest form, it’s your attitude and your effort. Inevitably, unfavorable and adverse times will occur in your life. Accepting that these events will happen and only focusing on things in which you have direct influence over is powerful. Control the 90%.

 

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

— 

Brandon Schmidt is a member of the Minneapolis Chapter of Scholars of Finance. Brandon is currently a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas and is majoring in Operations & Supply Chain Management with a minor in Data Analytics at the Opus College of Business.

Finding The Leader Within

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Finding the Leader Within

 

“Um… I-” I stuttered as my interviewer raised his eyebrow at me. I felt the heat rising to my face slowly until words clumsily stumbled out of my mouth, barely coherent. It was transparent to the four upperclassmen in the room grilling me that I was grossly underprepared. The next hour crept by, each question stinging me harder than the latter. My lack of knowledge was apparent. Finally, the hour was up, my torture was over. I gathered my resume and stumbled out of the room, frustrated. It was the first month of business school and I was already struggling.

As the elevator lurched down to the lobby of Stern’s Tisch Hall and screeched to a halt, I held back my tears. How was it that I was so unprepared? Why did they expect me to know all these advanced questions for a club interview? What are technicals?These questions continually circled through my head, especially when listening to my friends detail their positive interview experiences later that day in the dining hall. They laughed, sharing the inside jokes and connections they had already made with their interviewers while I dejectedly slurped up my Jamba Juice smoothie through a drenched paper straw. It was clear to me that I had no idea what breaking into business, tech, or finance entailed. Going to Stern, I thought the next four years were going to be a piece of cake. I was going to learn everything I needed to in class, and magically secure my dream job, touting my business school’s name at every major firm. In an hour, my mindset shifted from overconfidence to anxiety. How was I going to get a job if I couldn’t even get into a club at Stern? What do I need to learn and by when? How does everyone already know everything?

The anxiety persisted throughout my first month of college. I had only applied to and got rejected from one club, and had no direction with how I should be developing myself professionally. I turned to LinkedIn, scouring upperclassmen profiles, figuring out how to get involved, remain proactive, and abate my consternation. One day, when I thought all hope was lost, I received a message from Trent Madill, Chief of Staff Intern, reaching out to me about an organization called Scholars of Finance and the opportunity to co-found an NYU chapter. Thinking it to be a spam message, I checked the link attached to see the legitimacy of the website. Shocked by its extensiveness, I messaged Trent back, indicating my interest. My interview was lined up within the week, and this time, I was determined to be overprepared. Reading through the key tenets of Scholars of Finance, I was instantly drawn to the mentorship aspect. I needed guidance on how to navigate the complex world of finance and all it had to offer.

As I sped through the interview and onboarding process, it became evident that Scholars of Finance was an organization that would prioritize my professional needs and growth. The open conversations I had with our CEO, Ross, and our National Management Interns, Jake, Trent, and Mason, all gave me a platform to pitch myself confidently to the organization while being candid about my struggles and lack of knowledge. As elections for the NYU chapter rolled around, I knew I wanted to become as involved as possible, so I ran for President and had the privilege of being elected. Unfortunately, I was under the impression that becoming elected would be the hardest part when in reality, the arduous challenges were yet to come.

Having had extensive leadership experience in high school, I anticipated I already knew everything there was to know about leading and managing people. However, my first month as President was a complete disaster. My inability to properly delegate work and empower others to complete it became painfully obvious. My Slack Direct Messages were filled with feedback from my fellow leadership team members explaining how they felt out of the loop and unable to actually complete any work, and as I took over major initiatives, I left little room for collaboration. As this continued, I quickly became bottlenecked by all the work I needed to complete, resulting in the poor organization and execution of our programs. It was only when I spoke candidly to Ross that he identified the underlying issue. “Leadership is not about doing everything yourself. It’s not about controlling or forcing others to do it either. The best leaders empower others to reach their full potential and don’t have to lift a finger themselves.” I cried as Ross continued (I wish I could say that was the first and last time), because, deep down, I knew he was right. I needed to grow and make a significant change for the sake of my chapter and co-leaders. And so, I consistently sought his feedback and implemented SoF’s philosophy of being slow to speak and quick to listen. Consequently, it did not become hard for the NYU chapter to grow and become one of the highest functioning and engaged chapters in the organization. All it took was a little guidance.

And so, Scholars of Finance made me realize true leadership and mentorship is not just about learning technical knowledge or professional development. It’s about investing in someone’s growth to make them the best possible version of themselves. Looking back on this year, I can confidently say that Scholars of Finance has made me a much better leader and manager while equipping me with the skills to continue my growth in the future.

 

— 

Shivi Chauhan is the President and one of the original Co-Founders of the New York University chapter. She is currently a freshman at NYU Stern majoring in Finance and Data Science with a minor in Public Policy and Management. Along with Scholars of Finance, Shivi is a Copy Editor and Staff Writer for the Stern Gould Standard, a Research Assistant in the Management and Organizations department through the Stern Program for Undergraduate Research, and she will be joining NYU’s premier raas team, NYU Raas Malai, this coming fall. In her free time, Shivi likes to learn new languages and cook with her family.

The Adventures of Being Adrift

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The Adventures of Being Adrift

 

Lost. It’s a feeling we have when we’re presented with what seems like an endless amount of choices, yet a very small amount of time to explore them. This isn’t just a familiar feeling for me, but it’s likely something that everyone who is reading this has felt at some point in their lives. I even let myself become adrift and consumed by this fear of seeming lost. I eventually came to realize that being adrift just meant that I had a new adventure in store. 

For me, that adventure began back in high school when it seemed like just about everyone was taking on specific activities and classes to get into certain schools. From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed like they had their life figured out, and I thought mine was too. Growing up in a family filled with engineers I believed my path had already been chosen for me. As senior year came to a close and having struggled through my AP Chemistry and Honors Physics classes, becoming an engineer no longer felt like the right path. I  always enjoyed my involvement in business clubs, yet it wasn’t until I visited Dubai in the summer after my senior year of high school that I truly fell in love with the business world. 

A few weeks before orientation at the University of Minnesota, I ventured out to see the marvel of a city that I had heard so much about⁓Dubai. The more time I spent there, the more I  learned how Dubai had transformed from an impoverished desert into a thriving metropolis. Before discovering oil, the people of Dubai relied on pearl diving as their primary source of income. However, after observing what happened in the rest of the Middle East, the king at the time, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, had known that this resource wouldn’t last forever. Thus, they heavily and strategically invested to transform Dubai into the metropolis of wealth and wonder that we all know today. I discovered that Dubai’s transformation was fueled by their strategic investments, then fell in love with finance. Knowing that finance is a field that impacts billions of people and organizations globally, I decided to go against my familial norms and pursue a career in finance. 

I was thankful for this eye-opening realization, but it hadn’t dawned on me until after orientation, so I spent my freshman year working hard to transfer into The Carlson School of Management. I started to explore the different branches of finance, and uncovered that each one was so interesting to me and came with a myriad of opportunities : consulting, financial services, corporate finance and the most well known of them all, banking. The workaholic in me was instantly drawn to the world of banking, especially the 80 hour work weeks and high powered clients.

About halfway through my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to visit Carlson alumni out in New York. While I was there, I became entranced by all of the people, companies, but mostly by the scale and caliber of the work they did.  In spite of all of this,  as I used our alumni connections coupled with the power of LinkedIn and started to study for banking interviews, I felt something was amiss. While I knew it might not be a perfect fit, I started to repress this feeling that something wasn’t right. After not knowing what field I wanted to go into and transferring into Carlson, I didn’t want to start from scratch again. On top of this, that summer I was already going to Singapore to do a corporate finance internship, but my mind was still set on banking.

The first few weeks of my internship felt endless, because of the lack of available work. That all changed as soon as I proved to our finance director that I could handle a heavier workload. During this time I was able to connect with her, and I never felt this connected to anyone or at ease when I explored banking. Through her mentorship, I was able to see corporate finance through a new lens. The work I had done had helped the organization stay accountable to its stakeholders, improved their business processes, and ensured their employees’ well being. I was even able to help them get a crisis management framework that they are using amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. 

While I loved the fast pace work environment of banking, I just couldn’t see myself fitting in with the organizational culture that surrounds it. Especially not for over 80 hours each week. The most important thing I had learned was that the workaholic in me would thrive in any environment, but finding a company that matched my values and where I felt a greater sense of community would be the biggest deciding factor. For me, that company is Microsoft.  I’m excited to start my virtual finance internship with them this summer, and for a new adventure to begin! Feeling lost can be daunting, but a little courage can go a long way. Courage isn’t always about confronting your fears, it’s accepting that you will feel lost again and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s better to conquer your fears than to let your fears conquer you.

 

— 

Subha Ravichandran is a member of Scholars of Finance and the Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis Chapter. Subha is currently a Junior at the University of Minnesota and is majoring in finance at the Carlson School of Management.

Enduring the COVID-19 Quarantine

By Courage, Curiosity, Humility, Impact, Integrity No Comments

Enduring the COVID-19 Quarantine

 

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the world as a singular, integrated entity—one free of borders, restrictions, or individual nations. Rather, a massive unit of free-flowing thought, boundless inspiration, and limitless ideas. With our current circumstances, how could I not? No matter which corner of the Earth you hail from, you are likely to be one of billions stuck at home, battling similar feelings of concern, angst, or frustration toward the COVID-19 quarantine. However, looking past its overtly devastating impact and a tragic impediment to society, COVID-19 has left one particularly remarkable effect on the world—solidarity

A new degree of global awareness, one that is far too often lost in the hectic pace of everyday life, has been garnered by so many of us. For example, never have I found myself so engaged in the daily lives and feelings of those from Italy or China, who were initially afflicted the most dramatically. Never have I been so inspired by the collective voices of citizens singing from balconies, or videos of healthcare workers stripping their masks off in celebration of success. Never have I felt so in sync with the world or understood so clearly the nature of humanity—to suffer, and heal, as one.

Still, even with a firm grasp of the nature and severity of the situation, how are we going to get through this? As Scholars of Finance members, business students, and analytical enthusiasts, we are certainly accustomed to a level of unpredictability, but never before on this scale. How can we make the most of our time during the COVID-19 quarantine? In what ways can we harness growth and continue to build our personal and professional skillsets? While I am no expert, I am happy to share the number of ways I have been sustaining my productivity and sanity, plus a few more that might help you do the same.

First and foremost, while I have continued maintaining relationships that I have formed with professionals during my first semester at NYU Stern, I have also continued maintaining personal relationships. It is equally as important to check in on those who care about you and to be responsive. Allow your academic and professional roles to be principal in your life, but prioritize your friends and family just as carefully. From personal experience, when you have trouble balancing all of these different sectors of life, consider revisiting the Scholars of Finance core values—integrity, humility, curiosity, courage, and impact—to help guide your decisions.

Furthermore, it is very possible to excel in your academics. Following a relatively strict time schedule to complete your coursework, possibly one identical to your pre-quarantine schedule, deems itself a promising plan. Give yourself a structure. Consistency is key. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to change out of those pajamas you’ve worn for three days!

On a more professional note, it is unfortunate to hear that many summer internships have been canceled. However, there are a number of firms that are willing to accommodate internships digitally. In fact, just last week I interviewed for a firm that told me to expect the possibility of an online transition. Additionally, there is a multitude of online resources aimed at providing alternatives to those whose internships have been canceled: I’d recommend simply opening up your LinkedIn account, and I can guarantee that a number of these resources will pop up on your feed. If you’re having trouble, be sure to reach out to your established connections or create a post—you never know who might be able to help you. Luckily, interview prep, resume workshops, and career panels are still in abundance. Many companies are hosting live and interactive webinars, such as Wells Fargo’s 2020 Beyond College Webinar Series, and are committed to your success now more than ever.

With that, I hope a weight is lifted off your shoulders and you are able to find clarity in the transition to a digital academic/professional experience if it comes down to it. Again, it can be extremely beneficial to stay busy. Keep up with your coursework, continue advancing your professional skills, and maybe even pick up a new hobby—personally, I’m trying to learn Spanish!

To the extent that you can, try to mirror or slightly modify activities that helped you find success, and peace, before the days of the COVID-19 quarantine. In the midst of enormous chaos, it is vital that you keep stillness inside of you. Here at Scholars of Finance, there is a tremendous amount of support and guidance through all of this, so do not hesitate to reach out to a member or an executive should you feel lost or defeated—maybe even consider joining our organization in the future. Lean on your family, friends, and mentors as you see fit. It is difficult to overstate the tragedy and disturbance that COVID-19 has brought us, so please know that any fears or concerns you may have are valid, understood, and empathized with. Above all, stay positive and hopeful for the future—your own future, the future of the sick or less fortunate, the future of the economy, and the future of the cities you might call home. As not just a member of Scholars of Finance but a student at NYU Stern, I am incredibly hopeful and optimistic for the greatest city in the world (and others) to beat COVID-19 and to return just a little bit greater.

 

— 

Tony Ferrara is a member of Scholars of Finance and one of the original Co-Founders at New York University. Tony is currently a freshmen at New York University and is majoring in finance and sustainable business with a minor in public policy at the Stern School of Business.