On March 29th, the Gallatin Business Club (GBC) hosted Scott Taitel, Gavriel Kahane, and Laurence Wadler, three representatives of the finance community who followed unconventional paths in the field of finance. They offered their views and advice on how student entrepreneurs might do the same.
One of the key takeaways from this event was that finance relates to just about any field, and that a strong base of financial knowledge is invaluable.
Attendees raised common concerns of the financial industry, such as it is a limited field applying only to men in suits on Wall Street, or that it is an inherently unethical field. The panelists explained that finance pertained not only to the small subset of people generally associated with the field, but also to the success of any kind of company or entrepreneurial endeavor. Entrepreneurship is central to GBC, and it was very valuable for attendees to understand that entrepreneurship relies on healthy interactions with the financial industry—the former cannot exist without the latter. The notion that these two are mutually exclusive is, therefore, a fallacy, Professor Wadler stressed. However, he mentioned that while strong financial knowledge is necessary for a successful entrepreneurial endeavor,“passion,” he said, “is the most important thing.” The panelists also spoke about an increasingly important development in finance today: More and more, investors have moved towards ethical investing, which has enabled them to benefit both themselves and others.
Gavriel, who followed a career in real estate development, said that he wishes he had taken more finance classes in college, and urged those in attendance to do the same. He and the other panelists also unequivocally expressed a need for creative and diverse thinking in the financial industry, a process that is often sparked in college. The panelists advised the student attendees to “explore as many things as you can in college” with the intention of finding the field(s) you are most passionate about.
After that, throw in some finance classes, and you should be good to go!
This event received funding by the NYU Entrepreneurs Network Collaboration Fund. The Collaboration Fund provides grants to help promote entrepreneurship across NYU via cross-club collaboration. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and must be filed jointly by at least 2 clubs within the NYU Entrepreneurs Network. Read more about the NYU Entrepreneurs Network here and apply for the Collaboration Fund here.