Linkedin & Personal Branding

About This Episode

Episode #2 is with Neal Goyal. He is a 4th year Computer Science student at UCR, intern at Paypal, and a UCR LinkedIn Campus Editor. Topics discussed in this podcast include:

1. Value of LinkedIn

2. Personal Branding

3. Collaboration at UCR

4. New Technologies

5. Life Advice

Listen To The Episode On Spotify


[00:00:00] Welcome to the Brew, a podcast series was Deep Dive into trending topics about business and culture. Now sit back and join in on the conversation over a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

[00:00:21] Welcome to the Brew. I’m today host, I’m Valtteri Salomaki, and today I’m joined by Neal Goyal, who is a fourth year student from UC Riverside, also was an Intern at PayPal and has his own mini Web series on LinkedIn. So thank you for joining us today. Thanks for having me. Well, of course. So what we’re going to get started with first is we’re going to start chatting about what you’re doing on LinkedIn. So on LinkedIn, you have this mini series. So where you’re interviewing people from different disciplines and asking one topic. It’s a quick segment, which I like because it’s right to the point. But at the same time, you’re creating a lot of value for students. So what is this year’s and what are you trying to do with it?

[00:00:55] Right. Yes. So I hosted a weekly interview series where I ask kind of distinguish UCR students and professors to a cutting edge topic, topics that GenZ and millennials are talking about. So what I kind of cover is I cover different topics related to technology right now is recruiting season. So I’m talking about career fairs, how to build your resume than other topics include maybe talk about environment or maybe mental health. So that’s that’s kind of how I’ve been going about this and the series. And, you know, as I continue on what I kind of hope for it to be, it’s kind of like a hub for students to be like, you know, I’m I’m just a new college student or I’m maybe I’m just fresh out of graduating. And this is a great hub for resources of students who’ve actually gotten gone through these different topics or have some experience and can kind of be a pathway to for students to help other students as well. And it’s also a great way to kind of shine a spotlight on some great UCR voices.

[00:01:56] Awesome. Oh, what has been one of the most interesting, like conversations you had with one of the people you’ve had on the show? Absolutely.

[00:02:05] That’s a great question. I think I’ll have to go back to my very second episode. I think that was my favorite question when I first started the series. And the question was, how do you break into tech with being a non-technical major? And I think that’s who did you interview? I interviewed a business student named Cindy. And I think the topic is really interesting because, you know, as we as we look at companies like Google, Facebook, you know, you think of software engineers or you think of technical consultants, but there’s a whole other side of the coin where it’s business students, there’s humanities majors that can also break and break into technology, being a recruiter, being maybe on the procurement side. But not many people know how to get there. What’s the steps to maybe talk to a recruiter or, you know, how do you structure your resume that can really stand out among the candidates? So I think it was an interesting topic that we got to break down. And yeah, I think that was one of my most interesting conversations, both off camera and on camera also.

[00:03:12] Yeah, I think that is a very good topic to discuss, because as a businessman myself, a lot of students also asked me the same exact question of how do you get into a tech company? Because, I mean, a lot of the time they are still looking for technical people. I mean, a majority of the jobs out there on the market for those companies are going to be in a technical space.

[00:03:30] However, there is a huge need as well for business, because as we were discussing earlier in the car right here, even if you have a great technical product or great technical idea, you need people who are marketers or you need people that can sell it. So you need salespeople in marketing people. You need people on the finance side to make sure that the long term projects that everybody wants to develop in that company can be actually achieved. You need a lot of accountants. So there is a huge need for business students. And I think that’s kind of what is skewed in today’s world, is everybody expects you to be like this technology person. Well, that’s not really that necessary. I don’t believe it’s.

[00:04:02] Yes, it’s not. I mean, I think an aspect of it is understanding technology is great and it definitely helps when you’re working at a tech firm. But I think that, you know, a lot a lot of times what I see is that, you know, business majors or any humanities majors tell really great stories. They have the background and they take these amazing classes. But it’s just, again, the application understanding how to just start. And I think that and that’s a great conversation that we can, you know, maybe even dove in more and more deeply as we go on.

[00:04:33] Yeah, we’ll definitely dove into that a little bit more. But let’s let’s go back to kind of the idea that you had with LinkedIn. So why did you build this mini series? Only a lot of people do mini series. They’re going to put it on Instagram. They’re going to put it on YouTube, Facebook all over the place. But LinkedIn, obviously, it’s it’s not a new platform, but it’s now getting more widely used. So why did you choose to do this on LinkedIn?

[00:04:52] Absolutely. So I think before I even kind of go into the thought process for it, I think that, you know, LinkedIn is kind of transforming as a platform on its own. I used to look at LinkedIn as kind of a place where I would hand resumes that kind of be sales pitches.

[00:05:07] And I think LinkedIn’s goal is to try to transform itself into being a platform where people can produce content, people can, people who businesses can kind of market their business in and different strategies. And I think that. Because of Lincoln’s strong push for this, they had this program called a Campus Ed program, which I’m one of them, and they hired over 600 campus leaders across the globe to start having conversations in colleges about, hey, they Wellington’s a great platform for you to develop. Your personal brands are posting. Don’t just be a standalone profile among the millions of profiles. They’re actually different from yourself. So that was kind of my introduction to starting the series because I thought, OK, I’m a campus editor now. I started in November. You know, I post a little bit. Let me actually try to come up with some formulas, content. So how is my thought process for going into it. So the best way for me to start something is to learn from the best. So I started looking at all the I actually started going through my field looking at other content creators and I’m not reinventing the wheel. People did these one question interviews before, but I think that one idea that people don’t have is that they interview the CEOs, the top companies.

[00:06:29] But, you know, I’ve heard some great advice from my fellow peers, my fellow professors. And I think that this is such a unique idea because, no, I haven’t seen anyone actually have a dedicated series for asking a question to a student and getting their opinion and actually having that make an impact. So actually, with a lot of the candidates that I interview, they’re like, oh, this is my first time doing an interview in a social media setting. And I’m like, well, I mean, that shouldn’t there should be not this should not be a norm. There should be a place where, you know, everyone is kind of developing their own platform, everyone’s kind of kind of growing this. So I think that it was a very interesting and new idea.

[00:07:10] And I think that as long as I keep fleshing it out, I find ways to try to reach different types of people, get feedback a lot. And yeah, I think that’s that’s kind of what’s kind of the inspiration for where I’m taking it.

[00:07:22] Yeah. I think you touched on a very kind of important point, which is a lot of times these interviews series there are with CEOs or like talk companies or executives. And even though that they’re obviously very valuable advice, in order for someone to get to that position, it requires a lot of mixture of opportunities, look, preparation, all this kind of stuff. And it takes a long time to get somebody to come to see because obviously they lived a long life and they’ve seen a lot of things. So that’s why their knowledge is important. But at the same time, that’s not always relatable. I think the relatability comes from when you’re interviewing students or even professors that you see every single day, because you know that these are my peers. These are my age. These are what they’re doing. And it actually kind of creates inspiration and creates motivation for a lot of students, because I think it’s in a way, it’s intangible. When you talk, listen to a podcast about a CEO, even though you want to know their story. But it takes away that relatability because you think in your head, like how many CEOs are really out there, how many people have actually made that for? I’m just an everyday person. How am I going to do this? Right. So I think that’s the one thing that you do that really resonates and that’s why you’ve got a lot of traction through it.

[00:08:21] And I think, yeah, it’s an interesting thing to have peer to peer advice. I think that mentorship is a huge thing. And as I see as a student, you know, there are opportunities for students to mentor one another or maybe, you know, a full time professional mentor, mentor students. But there isn’t exactly a way for those casual conversations. Have is always a formalized program, it always has to be something to happen, some program or some step to happen for, you know, having that conversation. So why not just have that right to have it instantaneously? So I think, yeah, that’s definitely a great, great way.

[00:09:00] That’s awesome. And kind of kind of adding on to that. So, I mean, one thing you’re also trying to do is teaching students how to build a personal brand. So next up, we can talk about is why it’s so important to build a personal brand. So, I mean, as we were talking about in the car right here, a lot of students like nowadays, the job market more competitive. It’s like before a high school diploma is kind of entering the job market nowadays. It’s a college diploma. Everybody has it. Everybody is going through these great universities. Everybody has great internship programs and all this stuff. But what do you think? Like how important is this personal brand and how do you think someone can curate it on LinkedIn?

[00:09:35] Right. Yeah. So I think that as you touched upon, it’s becoming more and more I think it’s even become even compared to college as well, is just the level of competition is going exponentially higher. So when it comes to, you know, just even submitting a resume or cover letter, that’s almost like a dead end, like impossible yet. And I’m not even starting to see internal referrals, like actually knowing some of the company may not even lead to an opportunity because, again, there’s so much competition. So I got to think, how can I stand out from the guy who has the same GPA, maybe even some relative experience, relatively similar experience. And that’s where it comes to personal branding. And LinkedIn is such a powerful platform for that because. It’s a platform that’s dedicated for professionals to pro and as a student, you’re trying to, you know, get as much experience as you can as caution’s internships, research opportunities.

[00:10:34] And and I think that when it kind of curates this personal brand, a way to do that is to just talk about, you know, what you’re living out as a student. I think that students tend to undermine what exactly they go through day by day, the classes that they do, the projects that they’re in, the student clubs that they’re involved in, they learn so much. And it’s crazy. It’s crazy because you can’t really articulate that in a one page resume. You even of one page cover letter because and it’s easy to talk about the interview, but again, we can’t we can’t get to that stage because it’s the level of competition. So how can you how can you do that? You can you can do that through what I do with making the LinkedIn video series, having people, you know, talk about their passions, you can maybe write articles and say like, hey, you know, I just went through this this introductory computer science course. Here are some of my takeaways and stuff like that. And I think that that is a real, tangible way for recruiters because look at it from a recruiters perspective. They’re seeing the same exact candidate. But it’s hard to differentiate who can actually take on the job and who can’t. And when you have something like an article where they actually see a student articulate their thoughts and their what they learn, it’s so much easier for them to understand. OK, this is a much stronger candidate because they actually know some of the fundamentals of computer science, for example, and how that can actually apply to the job description as well. So I think that that’s where developing your personal brand is so, so crucial.

[00:12:10] And I think it’s almost kind of necessary at this point as we as we continue on with the recruiting cycle, as the years come also.

[00:12:20] I think that’s that’s really well said. And the one thing when it comes to personal brand, I don’t think a lot of people understand this is your personal brands, not what you want to say about you. It’s what other people say about you. And that’s where it kind of I think a lot of people don’t really understand it. So that’s where article writing or your content really matters because that showcases to other people what you stand for. Right. If you just say, I want to stand on the technology, I’m a technology expert and I know these things well. It doesn’t matter if you just write that out because you need to have something like an article talking about new technologies or your thought leader in that area, or you show video documentation and shows your public speaking capabilities, or X, Y, Z. There’s so many ways to showcase yourself. And like like you said, it doesn’t show in a resume. If you have a one page resume. I feel like what really happens is they’re just looking for those taglines, like, oh, they know these buzz words. That’s where the percentage is. You’ve done X, Y, Z. They look at your resume in 14 seconds. That’s about it. Right.

[00:13:11] And and the thing is that everyone has the kind of those buzzwords like artificial intelligence, data mining. It’s like, OK, that’s great. So does two thousand other people. How do you how how have you shown skills that, you know, data mining, artificial knowledge that I can actually attest to personal story of how this has worked on, say, Internet people this summer. And when I was interviewing for the role, I had, I think four or five interviews. And then after after the interview, I would connect with them on LinkedIn. And then I was doing the series. So it was actually a great opportunity because then the interviewee or interviewer actually got to look at a couple of my videos. And when I got the job, one thing that they told me that actually a crucial part of us hiring you compared other candidates was that we saw your video series and we knew that you can be able to talk to customers, have a and have a conversation, understand what are some needs of what college students want. And that’s exactly kind of what we want your mindset to be as you’re going to be a product manager for our team. So I think that that’s one real life example where personal branding actually works in real, real time.

[00:14:22] Yeah, nonperson. That’s a fantastic story because a lot of people, they hear about all this stuff, but they don’t hear the stories. You want success stories of the success stories. But I mean, on the same point, like just putting out content on LinkedIn is not going to help. So that’s the other thing that a lot of people do understand. So just resharing stuff all the time. We’re not adding their added value. So if it’s not adding value to another person or another student, at the end of the day, you’re not going to get high levels engagement and it’s not going to really show this thought leadership that we’re talking about or this personal branding. So that’s important as well, is don’t just research stuff on provide your own thought processes, your own opinions about stuff and not just opinions, but like more like factual information, your own research on in all that.

[00:14:59] Right. I think I mean, I also empathize with students because it’s very difficult to, you know, put yourself out there and post as well. So I think that, you know, a suggestion that I always give students is that, you know, try liking a post once, get to liking you, try commenting, you know. We talk about SEO, oh, the more the more interactions or engagement that you have on LinkedIn, the higher your profile actually it ranks as well. So try commenting that maybe support your opinion and be like, oh, great job on getting a new internship or something. And then once you feel comfortable, then maybe start making a post about your classes, something that’s a lot more familiar. But then you also talk about value and value driven content as well. I think the one interesting thing that I always see as well as, um, and again, I don’t shoot them down because, again, it’s very hard to to post content, but I think having content that’s value driven as well. One thing I like the other people do is that maybe they teach a workshop, but then they say, what am I learning outcomes or what something that an interesting conversation, something I taught a workshop. And I’m like, that’s great. And I applaud you for that. But I want to know what you gain, what you learn. And that’s exactly what going back to that recruiter mindset where a hiring manager there also I know what you’re what you got out of it, what you taught. So I think that when advice for even trying to make content, having that framework in mind of being value driven helps a lot, too.

[00:16:24] Awesome. So let’s shift gears a little bit away from Lichter’s. We talk about personal branding, your own mini series. The next thing we’ll talk about is kind of your time at UCR and your time as a student. So in this year’s program and you’ve gone through it, how have you liked your experience so far?

[00:16:40] Absolutely. Yeah. I think that it’s it’s it’s very cool. I think that coming from high school, you’re taking your general courses, but they’re not exactly what you want to be, what you want to tailor to as you kind of enter the workforce. So I think that one thing I liked about you, sir, and I think many, many other college CSR programs as well, is that you take your beginning. Intro courses are just learning C++. Then we go through some core classes, learning theory, and then we get to eventually take on technical electives as well. We can take an elective on maybe database’s cybersecurity, artificial intelligence in that way if it is theory focused. And there maybe we do one or two assignments. But it is a great way to kind of understand the fundamentals of what these concepts are. And professors even dove into some real life examples. So, for example, I took artificial intelligence spring quarter and how I would really enjoy a lecture because we talk about fake news and how that implies applies artificial intelligence.

[00:17:47] And I think that’s a super interesting topic that you probably wouldn’t hear on a daily conversation. So, yeah, that’s why I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the space program and I’m excited to graduate in June.

[00:17:58] Awesome. Yeah. I mean, the one thing that we’re talking about in the last episode when I was talking with Nikil, we were talking about how the business school should get more technical. So on your standpoint, do you think that the CS program has prepared you for the actual business professional world, especially working for people? Now you have an experience there. So how do you feel the SEE program prepares you for that, right?

[00:18:20] Yes. So I think that that’s an area where maybe there needs to be some growth, because I think the challenge that research universities have is that they are very theory focused, which is great.

[00:18:31] I mean, again, you learn the fundamental concepts, but I think we talk to us in the corridors kind of being able to adapt to what’s what’s the now what’s what’s happening in the industry, you know, what are the skills that are required. And the theory is good if you want to go the research route, but if you want to go to the industry, you want to go. And are businesses having the understanding of, you know, what are terms like, what’s a value proposition? What’s, you know, identifying what’s what’s the key problem, talking to customers? Those are areas where I feel like I didn’t get too much opportunity to learn in my first degree. I took one class in entrepreneurship, which is it was called entrepreneurship in computing, which was actually addressing the problem that that I talked about, which is now having the ability to get industry skills. And I think that was probably the best and the best experience I could have gotten for preparing me for maybe, for example, with PayPal as well. But I think that, as you talked about, with business students wanting to learn more technology, it’s the flip side as well. I’ve talked to so many engineers and we for engineers, kind of a bread and butter of sending out is going to technical competitions called Hackathon, which I’m not sure the viewers familiar with this, but essentially 24, 36 hour competition where you essentially build something that’s that’s technology related. So towards the end of that, you essentially pitch what you’re what you’re making. And they just get so bogged into kind of here’s what I developed here in this. But you can’t even understand what’s the first question, which is what’s the problem? So, I mean, so, again, tying back to I think that’s and that’s an area where I think that. More collaboration, and I think that’s what you’re working on as well with the BC3 and so schools to try to develop more collaboration, to kind of have students work hand in hand to maybe even develop businesses as well.

[00:20:32] Exactly. I mean, like the one thing that I’ve been I’ve been trying to do at UC Riverside for the last five years is provide more innovation opportunities for students. So one thing we were talking about is, for example, those that are on the pathway that want to make a business of their own entrepreneurship. You said a lot of these students want to do this. There’s a lot of excitement there. But the issue there’s there’s not that many direct pathways like we have opportunities that you share with iCore program. We have site in downtown Riverside. We have mentors. There’s a lot of there’s a lot of opportunities, but I don’t think those are that well-known yet. But at the same time, I do believe that in order for innovation and kind of providing that value for both sides is more collaboration. So more collaboration in business school and see a school having maybe even like your guys is designed project. Do you guys do them your third year like the design project, not the design project. But you guys have like a like a senior design.

[00:21:23] Yeah. So we do that and you can do your junior year, but typically people do in their senior year.

[00:21:28] Yeah. So for example, even having more business students involved in that process, allowing you guys to learn more and start a methodology, allowing it to curate according to your guys, is need. So you guys learn at the end of the day the value of the business side. But the business students learn about the technical side because as I as I brought up many, many times before, is business students generally don’t understand technological things to the high level as they should.

[00:21:54] But nowadays, every business, every product, everything has something to do with technology. Oh, yeah. And see the students, on the other hand, they might not understand the the value proposition or what’s the problem and how to provide a exact solution to a market need. But then business students understand what can be actually done with technology. So more collaboration I really do think would shift the dynamic UCR between the different departments. What do you think about that?

[00:22:15] Yeah, I agree. I agree. I think a quick plug, actually, a couple of years ago, I talked about how every business essentially is a technology business. You can your home is connected, your shoes are even connected. And there isn’t a business that isn’t there doesn’t have technology and it’s in its core. So I think that what you’re what you’re talking about is a great way to even start in the foundation on the Roots, which is college students, because where the inevitable the youth are going to be, the one that’s going to take over the workforce and change it. So how do we start it in the right way? And it starts with collaboration. I think that I took a I took a business course. This is one of the UCR. And over there it was expected. It was it was a marketing report, but it would have been helpful to understand, as I did a report on Amazon echo dot. And it would have been helpful to understand, kind of like the technology behind it. What’s the point of a kind of having a voice? I and on the flip side, I’m I’m taking my senior design right now and databases and we’re asked to do a proposal and we’re asked to come up with a design document and come up with a couple of presentations as we go along. And it’s feasible to do. But I think that this is where I looked at a few other proposals. And engineers really struggle with the with the fact that how do you, again, identify what exactly is the market needing? Why is this why is this product so relevant? Why products are relevant? What’s the problem? So I think that if having those collaboration is hand in hand, where maybe if, you know, like a sober student can say, hey, I’ll come up with a proposal, I’ll meet with engineers to come up with, OK, we can flesh out the requirements together, then understand the business value. So when you come up with a pitch, you can then engineers can focus on what they like, what you’re talking about, the technical side, and businesses can focus on what they like, which is talking about the business and value prop. But both sides know exactly what each side, each side are talking about rather than it being a complete separate thing. So I think that, yeah, going on that that can definitely be a strong change. And I think that you guys did do that last year, though, right? How did that go?

[00:24:32] So, I mean, what we do currently with the School of Business and BC3 Partnership, the way that works is me and professor is also a doctor. Also, what we do is we we have the senior design project from mostly biochemical engineering projects, and it’s during winter quarter or spring quarter really depends. We done it kind of both of the quarters, but it’s usually at the point where there are now like really coming up with the idea. But they need to figure out exactly the market need and how to really create the branding of in all that. So but the business students do is they helped him develop an investor pitch deck that goes through those kinds of things, like what is your secret sauce? Like those key buzzwords that entrepreneurship expects you to know is like, what is that? What is what is your go to market strategy if you actually develop this, how you can actually make money, what is your financials look like? Is it profitable? Do people actually need. This and then also develop a business plan, generally a business plan, obviously an entrepreneurial culture, you don’t really need a business plan at the start. You need something called a business canvas model because it’s a lean start methodology. You’re going to change your product very quickly. So but you do need directions. You need to at least have something on a paper that says, this is what I plan to do. This is my strategy. This is my financials. And that’s what we really want to teach kind of the BCG students as well as the school business students. But the school business students, what we really want for them is opportunity to talk to engineers, because in the real world, when you work at a company, you’re not just talking to business people. You’re going to be talking to people in the Sears Department. You’re going to be talking to people that are software engineers, product engineers, and not understand that collaboration and how to communicate is going to cause a lot of problems. Right. And that’s where that disconnect happens. So we’re trying to give students an understanding early on kind of how to consult in a way in a very minor way of consulting about at least understanding like what our market needs, how to grow it, and how can an engineering team actually develop this product or service? Like I said, I do want to kind of get this into the school because I think if it was part of the Sears Department as well would be awesome, because that’s where a lot of software development happens. Also, we did it with mechanical engineers before. We’ve done it with different departments. But the other thing is more collaboration between not only that, but the professors. So right now, the bio chemical engineers, they have a professor named Robert McKee and he is an entrepreneur himself. And he’s really providing more structure to the program because of that. I can see that the students, like, really do care. And there’s actually opportunities, for starters, to actually develop, which I love seeing, because the whole idea of this is hopefully that real innovation, real startups can come out of UCR by this collaboration, right?

[00:26:58] Yeah, because I was I was going my follow up question was, do the students actually like it? Because, I mean, this can be a great in theory. But if engineering students and business students aren’t really seeing the value in this, then what’s the point? So have you actually been able to talk to some undergrads and see what their opinion is on this?

[00:27:12] Yeah, what I’ve learned is for some of the business students, it depends on what product to do. If there’s a project that they don’t care about, for example, they’re not going to see that much added value to it. But at the same time, they do see, like the development process, they start understanding how to do the research properly, how what it’s like to actually find your position in a market. How do you actually brand your business idea? How do you go to market with it? And that’s the structure you want to provide for business to do so. That’s not opportunity you get in the business school either. As for the engineers, they actually do like it because, as you stated, a lot of engineers want to learn business. Right? This is their one opportunity to really learn that business side, which is why we’re really want to make this program more than it is now. We want to make it a full year kind of thing to really create that cycle. From the start of your senior design project, you start learning the fundamentals of what a value proposition is. What is it? Go to market strategy and how you lessons on those. And then eventually winter quarter having school of business evolve and hopefully one day in like spring quarter, having more of the MBA students in Andersen get involved, because once it gets that high level standpoint, you’re most likely going to need at least some MBA students. There are some top level undergrad students can probably handle it as well. But in order to do that actual market development, you need some experience in there.

[00:28:16] Well, I think yeah, it could be cool that it could be engineers and undergraduates, but also an MBA advisor. And that could be a great experience for them as well, because now they’re actually helping a startup grow. Right, startup. Yeah, yeah. Grow and working, working with different students and helping them kind of mentor them because I’m assuming MBA students at least have a little bit more experience in industry so they can definitely kind of provide the insight as well. So yeah, I agree. Yeah, that can definitely be a great path right now.

[00:28:46] So hopefully it goes there. Yeah. I mean that’s the one thing. And like as we were talking about before, places such as Berkeley, Stanford, USC, a lot of these schools are kind of already figured out their innovation cycles and how companies I mean, they’re developing startups left and right. And the reason why that’s done is, one, a mixture of how their community is so involved with the universities. So big companies do create kind of partnerships with those universities, but at the same time, it’s their alumni basis that credit creates that internal mentorship program. I mean, we do have that like I stated, you said we do have iCore. It has a bunch of great mentors and they are trying to create that. But I do really think that it does require the next level, which is alumni or some people that have actually done it in they’ve gone through the same process you’re going through to really give back and kind of create a feedback loop, right?

[00:29:29] Yeah, I think well, I think that when I look at like because USC is known for their amazing alumni network, the reason, because even for alumni, they have to have a reason to take time to help the next generation the to and help the next undergrads. And I think that the one thing that that USC does was they provide an amazing college experience for the for those alumni that you mentioned, these programs are in-state, but also just having having opportunities for them to kind of grow as a student, having those real life applications, having even even the relationships of the faculty administration. Everything is just so, such a great experience that they’re like, you know, I had such an amazing time. I’m willing to donate money and I’m willing to donate my time and my expertize so that the next gen. Iranian students had the same opportunities I had even better so, I mean, it even even goes even more ground level and foundation that even the fact that administration level has to have such a great relationship with students, stuff like that. So I think that it’s a long project and there’s a lot of steps that go along with it. But I think that UCR can become a really great force maybe in the next 10, 15 years.

[00:30:39] I honestly think it would be faster because there’s a lot of innovation that’s happening internally within Riverside and they’re doing a huge push when it comes to UCR as well. And they’re trying to like, for example, they connected like Blackstone. So they’re trying to get like all these like high level investors because they’re trying to get more. Because the one thing I think that lacks UCR is the funding side in order for innovation to really spur into something big. You need capital to push those innovations forward like an idea’s an idea until you get funding and actually start building it out in palletized and really doing that. So, I mean, you see, I do see there’s huge opportunity. I mean, we’re literally in the perfect area. Like it’s the cost of living here is a lot lower than obviously the Bay Area and L.A. All over California. There’s real estate that you can get pretty much anywhere. There’s there’s very talented individuals at UC Riverside, like there’s a really, really good place to develop startups and create that culture. But it’s that culture shift that we’re talking about here that it’s it’s it’s so tricky because it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a it has to start from the roots and then has to build up and create opportunities from everybody from day one all the way through.

[00:31:39] Right. Right. So, yeah. And I think that that comes with a lot of conversations and discussions because you can’t just have some people be on board like a professional and you have to have like everyone be on board and everyone kind of driving towards this vision because. Yeah, again, roots comes with everyone being involved.

[00:31:54] Sam Yeah. So the last topic we’ll talk about is kind of how technology is transforming everything. So we were talking about, for example, what it’s like to actually get a job at a technology firm, especially like we’re not targeted university. How do you get a job there in a non-technical field? But the other side is just how the world has shifted all to technology and what does that really mean for individuals and society? So we both worked at tech companies. We kind of see how technology is shifting. So what is your your viewpoint overall on how fast technology is shifting based off the perception of technology shifting? So what I example of that is, for example, Eisenhower like a hot topic that we discussed many times, but AIDS existed technically since the 90s, like the idea the philosophy behind it is just infrastructure wasn’t there. So what do you think about the way that people hear it on the media compared to the reality of this technology being developed?

[00:32:46] Well, I think it’s it’s interesting. You talked about I, I, I, I honestly feel like the rate at which technology has grown. I mean, the fact that we have an entire computer in our hands, that is only within the maybe the last 10, 10, 10, 15 years. Right. Yeah. So I think that technology is only going to come as a boom and it’s going to be on become more and more complex. So the idea of Aiza, the most popular thing you see on the news is self-driving cars. Right. So people’s perception of it is that, oh, you know, you’ll be able to go place to place. You won’t even need to be in the past or so in the driver’s seat and and kind of shift to a lot of a lot of services like Uber, Lyft or even wammo will start to emerge from this and kind of go as a platform. But I think what tends to that people tend to not see is, again, all the complexities, all the edge cases, all the things that go and they go into this. You know, for example, the first thing I think I can think of top of my head is like, you want to have a self-driving car in maybe New York City and, you know, the self-driving car will compute. OK, I see a person and you stop for them in New York City, everyone just crosses the road, whether it’s a red or green line. So how do you how do you have it where it’s smart enough to understand the capabilities of a of a human and also apply within technology. So I think that kind of tying back to the answer that technology can reach there. And I do think that maybe within the next 15, 20 years, we will we will start to see that. But I think that people’s perceptions will be a lot quicker than it is, and that’s through the vamp up of social media or, you know, maybe even entertainment and movies as well. But I do think we’ll get there just not as quick as people think.

[00:34:47] And I think, yeah, I think the one thing that allows technology to become that powerful and actually developed is things that people are hearing on the news all the time is the infrastructure as are brought up. So as we head towards 5G, as we head towards all these new technologies and everything, the infrastructure is slowly becoming in, as you talked about, like technology kind of goes in these boom cycles. Like it’s just like new innovation comes on, new innovation comes out. So, for example, like the idea of a smartphone existed for a while. Right. It’s just that we didn’t have the capability. Like people are like, why would I search the Internet on here when I have a laptop? Because it wasn’t fast enough. A lot of money, the infrastructure and all that kind of thing. So what do you think is going to happen? The second five hits like like actually NuScale around the world, like there’s, for example, the RAM Stadium, they’re planning to integrate 5G. There’s other stadiums trying to integrate 5G. Verizon’s doing this huge ad push right now about how they’re leading in 5G and how they’re partnering with NFL stadiums and the teams in the opposite side of baseball. They’re trying to do all the baseball stadiums are going to be connected with 5G and there can be 5G ready. That’s their thing. 5G ready. So what do you perceive as happening after 5G hits? Like what kind of technologies do you perceive might come into actual reality? What do you think is actually going to happen?

[00:35:57] Right. Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that, you know, as 5G heads, I think that we’re already, you know, connected and we’re already connected as we kind of go through these experiential events like events and stuff and stuff like that, or, you know, you know, when we think of maybe our friends or family and as 5G hits, the idea is that it’ll be even faster, it’ll be more efficient.

[00:36:24] It’ll be a better experience. Right. So I think that from this from this integration, one thing that I’ll start to see that happens is that there are there are ways for people to reach the next step, which is why it’s so easy to be kind of siloed and think that like, oh, you know, like we have all this technology and stuff like that.

[00:36:46] But then you go into the other side of the world and there’s all these underdeveloped nations that are all these people that don’t even have the basic means of, you know, communicating with one another. So as 5G hits, I think that this will start to vamp up and give people the opportunity to reach out, to reach out to the next out of the world, which is having ways to communicate with them, being able to engage with them and also, you know, have opportunities for them to kind of have the same lifestyle that in that we live in our kind of personal nation.

[00:37:21] So I think that’s that’s kind of the wave I’m thinking of is reaching reaching those undeveloped nations.

[00:37:27] Do you think it’s a kind of tie on to that? I’ve read a lot of interesting articles, for example, about Africa, about India, and about how once 5G hits that their economy is actually going to, like, just skyrocket because of the fact that they’re actually skipping over generations of infrastructure and they’re going straight into something that pushes out gigabytes per second. Like, I don’t think a lot of people comprehend the speed that 5G is going to create. So, for example, a lot of people might have 100 megabits per second right now in their house. And you can stream stuff pretty easily. But I like gigabytes per second. You can have VR world’s largest streaming perfectly. Right, and R and technologies and all these new technologies. What do you think is actually going happen to developing countries, India, Africa, that are growing at a fast pace right now already? What do you think that 5G might happen, like what is going to do?

[00:38:12] It’s an interesting question as well. I think that, you know, that the when I when I look at these nations like India and Africa, I think that there are a few problems that go on, that there is a lot of poverty, there’s a lot disconnection. There’s not a means where there is a lot of, like you mentioned, infrastructure there. So I think that as far as 5G hits, you know, there will be a lot of I think I think there will be more of a spur of businesses. I think that and when I was working at PayPal, where our goal is to kind of democratize financial services for underdeveloped nations.

[00:38:57] Right. So I think that goes side by side with five goal is to start to be able to have it where maybe somebody can have like maybe a maybe a way to scale, reach and reach out to different people to kind of develop their can, develop digital advertising, you know, just try to not be more of a local thing, but more of a scalable way to reach other people kind of through my limited understanding of 5G.

[00:39:32] Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, it’s a it’s just an interesting conversation to have. And I love talking to people are technical about it because 5G in its space, it’s very unique. It’s every every guy that goes up it it drastically changes the way like I’m talking about technology. Infrastructure allows for new capabilities. So looking at, for example, India, looking at places such as Africa, like, for example, Nigeria is growing very quickly as a country.

[00:40:02] And with these infrastructures, as you brought up, like small businesses actually now have the opportunity structure to create massive e-commerce businesses or massive infrastructure changes. Obviously, you still need your infrastructure within the country. So you need your transportation systems and your railways, your airports, but at least on technology. Standpoint now you can do business with anybody around the world in real time and skill, massively so silly, because I read a really interesting article about how in the last thing in the last decade, there’s been more billionaires created than like the previous century because technology shifts, e-commerce, all that.

[00:40:38] So we’ll see what’s going to happen once a 5G hits, right? Absolutely. I agree. I agree. So it’s kind of just close out this conversation. I always love to hear kind of advice to students, to entrepreneurs and thought leaders, to even business professionals out there. So what would be your kind of final words of advice to UCR students or people looking for jobs?

[00:41:00] You know, I think that the best way I look at it is I’ll talk to different types of people, talk to people who are kind of just starting out. I think that the best way to understand how to kind of grasp a job or reach out to different companies or recruiters is to first be in the position where you’re kind of a sponge. Learn as much as you can start to understand what exactly you know, you know, is happening in the industry. Where is the market going to what exactly is a job, what skills are needed? And started to ask ask questions that maybe you’re thinking of and get the answers to them through Google, that they’re reaching out to different people. And, you know, kind of once you’re at the stage where you’ve you’ve kind of understood how to interact with these people, then I think the main thing is to just have consistency. I think a lot of you can do and this goes to entrepreneurs. This goes to job seekers as opposed to anyone. A lot of the success that people have comes from having a lot of consistency or having being able to just be so focused on, you know, I’m going to achieve this amount of goals are achieved, maybe send out this many job applications per day reaching their goals. And I think that having that consistent mindset and being able to think and think in kind of a growth mindset really, really helps and is also really good for kind of having a positive attitude and getting really kind of excelling as your, you know, taking on your first job.

[00:42:43] Or maybe you’re I don’t know, maybe maybe you’re your next adventure. So I think that and that’s just my key takeaway. What about you? I want to hear your take away as well. Having been in school as an undergrad, now an MBA, Internet, Ezri, what do you say to students as well?

[00:42:59] I mean, my biggest thing that I say to students is it’s OK to feel lost, for example. So a lot of people, they think that then you have this perfect plan. My advice to students is pick something you’re interested in and pursue that as far as you can because you’re going to change very quickly. But to tie onto that, my whole I kind of my motto, what I say all the time is your ambitions can be whatever they want to be, but your actions have to actually match your ambitions. They don’t match your conditions. Then at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean anything. Your ambitions are just ambitions. So no matter what you’re trying to do, if you if you do strive to work at Google or else you’re like a consulting firm like BCG or Deloitte, or if you’re trying to work for a small business, your ambitions are at different levels. But be real with your ambitions and understand that that takes a lot more action, for example, Google, than it would take for getting a job in a small business. So be real with yourself, but don’t feel like you need to have a perfect plan because that’s where it gets tricky. A lot of students are like, oh, I want to go to this university and then I’m going to do exactly these things and I’m going to get exactly this job. That’s not how the real world works. As we talked about. It’s more competitive. There’s all these things and don’t get discouraged. So at the end of the day, if you’re trying to go for this job but you don’t get it will now get what jobs you can get and build the stepping stones, get to where you want to be. So there’s always a pathway, in my opinion, but it’s about how much work you’re willing to put into and how much you really strive to do.

[00:44:25] And I think it’s being able to pivot exactly stuff like that, because you always have that proposal that we were talking about. But everything shifts and being able to pivot and strongly stride in the right direction. I think that I think that yeah, that’s a great quality as well. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. So, yeah. Thank you for being on the break. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me.

[00:44:49] Thank you for tuning in to the. I hope you enjoyed this episode and tell us what you thought about our conversation in the comments below. If you guys like our content, make sure to follow us on the various social media platforms and we will see you all next time.

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