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Episode Notes | Episode Transcript | AskTheGuest

 Hi Fives (5 Highlights)   2.5-Minute Listen

As an enthusiastic member of the New York University Alumni, Maya Brooks looks back at her Undergraduate Experience in this podcast. Maya Brooks is a graduate of NYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Maya’s NYU Undergraduate experience was both very rich and challenging. Her freshman year in London started her off with a great global perspective. Her transition to the NYC campus in her sophomore year was a little rough socially, and also due to some personal challenges.

But Maya soldiered on, both in the classroom and outside - finding an interest in Finance and passion in startups by the time she was graduating. Her years at NYU created a vibrant network of friends and peers that she carries with her today.

Hi-Fives from the Podcast are:

  1. Why NYU?
  2. Transition to NYU - London
  3. The Academics
  4. “Driven” Peers
  5. Advice for High Schoolers

Episode Notes

Episode Title: Maya Brooks on New York University: Economics, Global Liberal Studies and NY Annual Pillow Fight.

In high school Maya did a lot of different things including Languages, Theater, Musical Theater, Dance and Cheerleading. Maya was in high school at the time of the Great Recession of ‘08. So, when time came for college, she wanted to  focus on whatever gave her the best chance of getting a job after graduating from college.

Maya Brooks is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Now, as a member of the NYU Alumni, Maya shares her Undergraduate Experience.

In particular, we discuss the following with her:

  • Choosing NYU
  • Majoring in Economics
  • Freshman Year in London
  • Interest in Startups
  • Advice to Aspirants

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Introduction to Maya Brooks, New York University [0:47]
  • Hi Fives - Podcast Highlights [1:48]
  • Overall Experience [4:38]
  • High School Interests [7:09]
  • Transition to NYU - London [8:39]
  • Transition to NYC Campus [12:36]
  • Managing Challenges [14:45]
  • The Academics [18:26]
  • “Driven” Peers [20:10]
  • Campus Living [21:57]
  • Campus Activities [23:14]
  • Summers [24:27]
  • Majoring in Economics [26:49]
  • Interest in Startups [29:22]
  • NYU’s Impact [32:43]
  • NYU Redo [34:49]
  • Advice to High School Students [38:22]
  • Memories [41:46]

Our Guest: Maya Brooks is a graduate from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Maya is currently a 2023 MBA candidate at Harvard Business School.

Memorable Quote: “I wish I got to know my professors better. So if you're listening, and you haven't gotten to know some of your professors, I highly recommend leveraging their time and you know, taking the time to get to know them…” Maya Brooks.

Episode Transcript: Please visit Episode’s Transcript.

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Episode Transcript

Transcript of the episode’s audio.

Maya B 0:14

It's the New York Annual pillow fight. And there's a giant pillow hype that happened. I kid you not like between random people in New York like people just show up in the park. It's like a whole day. And you know, hello. And you just randomly hit strangers with pillows. And it's supposed to be like one of those. You know, it's supposed to make people feel good and you know, kind of a bit because the city is a hard place to live.

Venkat  0:47  [Introduction to Maya Brooks, NYU]

Maya Brooks is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.

Hello, I am your host Venkat Raman!

In high school Maya did a lot of different things.

Languages. Theater. Musical Theater. Dance. Cheerleading.

She took a course in macro economics in her senior year, and loved it.

Maya was in high school at the time of the Great Recession of ‘08.

When time came for college, she wanted to  focus on whatever gave her the best chance of getting a job after graduating from college.

Venkat Raman  1:27

Maya  joins us on our podcast to tell us about her NYU undergraduate experience.

Before we jump into the podcast, here are the High-Fives,  Five Highlights from the podcast:

Maya B  1:48  [Highlights - Hi Fives]

[Why NYU?]

I would say I picked NYU because I'm from the Midwest. I'm from like a suburb outside of Chicago. I knew that I wanted to be in the city I wanted to be action was I wanted to be, you know where all of the cool things were happening. And where I felt like culturally kind of able to make a diverse group of friends really be with a wide group of personalities and people. And the city did that did not at all intimidate me.

[Transition to NYU - London]

I started my first year in London, and my parents actually did not want me to go to this program. And they kind of applied behind their back. They want you to stay in the States. And I had found this, this kind of like loophole program at NYU. It's a very globally focused school. And we had a program that was kind of geared toward what I thought was going to be kind of like international relations and international political science and economics.

[The Academics]

I thought the academics at NYU were great. I really enjoyed my academic program. The econ program is super strong. at NYU, the PhDs who teach there are just fantastic.

 

[“Driven” Peers]

NYU has a really incredible entrepreneurial culture. So there were a lot of people who were focused on kind of like the rise of technology and applying like AI and ML to existing business problems. And that was something that was really exciting to me at the time, and I was glad to have access to that.

[Advice for High Schoolers]

So my advice would be, you know, explore the different programs as much as you possibly can, I would talk to alumni or talk to the admissions rep. They're really incredible people, I would go on a tour, you know, now that the pandemic is kind of easing up.

Venkat Raman  3:48

These were the Hi5s, brought to you by College Matters. Alma Matters.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Venkat Raman  3:59

Now, I'm sure you want to hear the entire podcast on NYU with Maya.

So without further ado, here is Maya Brooks!

----------------------

Venkat Raman  4:09  

If you're ready, we can jump right into it.

Maya B  4:12  

I'm ready. Let's jump right in. I'm going to be very honest.

Venkat Raman  4:17  

That's, that's what we're looking for. You know, that's what we need to hear. So very good. So maybe you can start with some overall, sort of impressions of your experience at NYU. And then we can dive deeper.

Maya B  4:38  [Overall Experience]

Yeah, definitely. So my overall impression of NYU and I'll say, why, why I decided to go to NYU and kind of my application process. I did not know really what I wanted to do with life when I was in high school. I knew that from a financial perspective. You know, keep in mind, I went to high school between 2007 and 2011. Yes, the financial crisis happened my freshman year of high school. It was very formative kind of in the way that, you know, my generation approached jobs in the way that we kind of saw risk. And so for me what I knew I wanted coming out of high school and heading into college with a solid career, you know, good financial prospects, and all of that sort of stuff.

So when I was applying to college, and by the time I had kind of, you know, really finished all of my my ACT's, I'm from the Midwest, so we take AP AP's there my ACT's and was kind of ramping up to two applications, I applied to about 14 different schools. And then the one that I got into that I think, aligned best with my interests at the time was in my way Economics program. And I had taken a class, my senior year of high school in macro economics, and I absolutely loved it, my teacher was phenomenal.

And so I thought, you know, econ sounds like a great place to be. So that was kind of how I decided mostly on on attending NYU. And I would say, I picked NYU because I'm from the Midwest, I'm from like, a suburb outside of Chicago. I knew that I wanted to be in the city I wanted to be action was I wanted to be, you know, where all of the cool things were happening. And where I felt like culturally kind of able to make a diverse group of friends really be with a wide group of personalities and people. And the city did not did not at all intimidating. So I was really excited about kind of having that opportunity. And actually ended up spending my first year of college abroad, studying in London.

Venkat Raman  7:02  

What were you like in high school? You mentioned you went, it was outside of Chicago? What kind of things interested you then?

Maya B  7:09  [High School Interests]

Yeah, oh, I did everything in high school. I swear I did. I was very active, I was involved in a lot of clubs. I would definitely rate myself high on kind of the extraversion scale. And I did just about everything. I did language classes, I studied Spanish. I did theater, I was in the monologue show where I wrote and performed a couple of monologues. For a couple of years, I did like musical theater. I did cheerleading for a couple of years, I did like dance for a year. So I really kind of sunk my teeth into participating in many different things.

When I was in high school, I think one of the things that really shaped that desire, for me was wanting to be just kind of as expansive as possible, with the things that I was interested in and focused on. And I think it really came through in my college application. In terms of where I, where I ended up applying, and kind of the stories I was able to tell a lot of my personal interests really came through my applications. I think it made me a really well rounded student. So I did all the things.

Venkat Raman  8:29  

So great. So now you're, you know, you get into NYU, and you're not going to New York, but you go, you went off to London. So tell us about that.

Maya B  8:39  [Transition to NYU - London]

Yeah, so I started my first year in London, and my parents actually did not want me to go to this program, and I kind of applied behind their back. They want you to stay in the States. And I had found this, this kind of like loophole program at NYU, it's a very globally focused school. And we had a program that was kind of geared toward what I thought was going to be kind of like international relations and international political science and economics. And it was called the Global Liberal Studies program. And essentially, the goal of that program is for you to spend two entire years abroad outside of the New York Campus, learning different languages, meeting different people, etc.

So I thought like, oh, how great I'm going to combine my economic interests and kind of my world world political interests together by doing this program. And I'm really glad that I that I went, because it did a couple of things. It first introduced me to, you know, so many different types of people. Our program was extremely small. It was about I think, 65 people 65 students. And you all live like kind of in these dorms together. The center of London. You take class from British professors, but they are all technically employed by NYU.

So just having that experience from like an international perspective was super important to me, it was mind expanding, it was culturally expansive and very relevant to what I was really interested in at the time, which was kind of like World Economics and how all of that fit together. And I think it's time to kind of get out of my comfort zone and explore more opportunities. And, you know, just really see the world from a different perspective. And I recommend for anyone who's like, you know, transitioning from high school into college or thinking about transitioning from college, try to do as much as possible to get outside of your comfort zone.

You know, staying in one place, your whole life can be great. But if you have the opportunity, take that opportunity to get to know other types of people, other types of experiences, see the world in new places, and new eyes. You know, I was fortunate enough to be able to do that a couple of times in my life. And I always think that they're really heavy growth experiences. Because you kind of have to really be on your own and kind of know, like, what am I made out of? What do I like? Why do I think this? Maybe I'm wrong, you know? Because one of the most important things you can do when you're a young person is to try a lot of stuff and realize not be right about this.

Venkat Raman  11:32  

No, I think that's true. Explore and discover. Now, you said this was a two year program, or did you spend a year, two years there are one in London.

Maya B  11:44  

So I spent one year in London, it's designed to be two years abroad. So you go one year, your freshman year, and then you go another year in your junior year. And I ended up actually transitioning out of that program to do pure economics. Like I kind of switched out of out of that global global program. But the friends that I made kind of in those first, in that first year, we're all still very close. And friends today, now 10 years later, which is kind of incredible. And I always credit that program to one of the reasons why I have like friends and pull them all over the world. And it's one of the one of the best things I've ever done.

Venkat Raman  12:20  

You Come back to, for your sophomore year, you're back, iyou are not back, you come into New York. And how is that now? That's another transition for you. Right?

Maya B  12:36  [Transition to NYC Campus]

Right, another transition. So it was definitely interesting, because all of the kids abroad, we hadn't seen the New York Campus was none of us had kind of like been at NYU in New York, because we were all we're all abroad. But kind of coming back to the New York landscape and kind of readjusting to like, Okay, I live in New York now. And, you know, this is what the culture here is like, and this is what the atmosphere is like, this is what campus was like in the city. Is that was definitely a transitional experience. I'll say for me, you know, this wasn't just my sophomore year. One of the things that I think was, is the best about being at NYU is the fact that it's literally in the middle of the city of Manhattan. So you're surrounded all the time by interesting people, by new ideas by people who are not necessarily even students at NYU, which I experience. But you know, on the on the downside, I think, on the flip side, it can be an incredibly lonely place to be. You know, the city is extremely big. Everyone is very focused on kind of their own path and their own structure and what they what they're looking to do. It's a very goal oriented, very driven culture, very ambitious culture. For me, you know, as driven as ambitious, as I was, you know, I definitely found myself feeling a little bit lonely, and depressed and kind of like I hadn't really solidified my tribe, or like, you know, my tribe and kind of spaced out when we all got back to campus. And it was a little bit difficult to find people and see people and see them every day. And that was something that definitely was an adjustment period when I got back into the city.

Venkat Raman  14:35  

So I guess there are two questions. I mean, just to follow up on that, how did you deal with that? How did you hopefully overcome that?

Maya B  14:45  [Managing Challenges]

Yeah, I honestly would say that it took me until about the time that I was about to graduate to full combat. Yeah, really, honestly, it took us it took a couple of years and there were some additional factors that that kind of contributed to that. You know, when when I was in college, and I'm sure some students listening to the podcast, and you can kind of relate to this. You know, I mentioned that the financial crisis happened when I was in high school, it really, it really destroyed a lot of financial stability for my family at that time. So both of my parents went through long periods of not having income and stable job, you know, we moved a lot, we sold the house, like there were just kind of like it up ended every sense of financial stability that we had. And that really lasted for 10 years after that. So about 20. So during the time that I was in college, you know, I was consistently on edge about being able to afford going to NYU is an extremely expensive school. Every semester that it came up for financial aid, I was, you know, panicking about not kind of not being able to take it, I'm sure you know, any, any undergrad listening to this, or high school students know that there's like a Parent PLUS loan that you can take, but your parents have to be willing to take the Parent Plus Loan. If you are not in great financial standing, it's extremely difficult to get that amount of loans. And all of the banks that stopped doing any sort of personal loan or other types of loans to students at that time, so the market just really dried up in terms of like the loan liquidity situation. So for me, every single semester was kind of like, a toss up of like, am I going to be able to afford being here? Can I come back? Will I be able to be sustainable living in the city and the city was extremely, extremely expensive. Even with the amount of loans that I took, you know, there are other costs that add up, like, transportation back and forth between buildings, or you're going, you know, to an internship, and there's no payment, so there's no money for like a metro card, or there's no money for, you know, eating lunch every now and again. And, and that type of thing. And that was really difficult. For me. You know, mentally, I think it took up a lot of mental space. And it's especially difficult when, you know, there were a lot of students who are extremely well off at NYU. So it was, it was definitely, you know, sometimes I felt a bit left out from the perspective that, you know, other people are, you know, inviting me to lunch and talking about, like, let's go grab this $80 dinner, like I can't afford, I can barely afford $10 Guys, like near them understand. So it's just a kind of a different situation. And for me, that was, that was really tough. I worked, you know, several jobs throughout my undergrad experience, I'd never had just class to go to. And I really wish that that's an experience that I that I did have, I really wish that I was able to like, just enjoy class, for being in class and kind of not be stressing about like, I have to go to class and then run to my first job and then went to my second job, you know, try to try to survive in the city. situation, you know?

Venkat Raman  18:14  

How did you, how did you find the academics? I mean, you mentioned classes. So what was what was that? Like? I mean, was it difficult? Is it just a lot of work? How would you characterize it?

Maya B  18:26  [The Academics]

Yeah, definitely. That's a great question. Um, I think academics at NYU are great. I really enjoyed my academic program. The econ program is super strong. at NYU, the the PhDs who teach there are just fantastic. And the topics that they include in the economic programs really just set you up for a broad understanding of a lot of different things. So for me, I love the class load, I thought that the courses I picked were, were great from an econ perspective. And then I did a business like a business school minor, with a certain school of business and my business school minor was also amazing. It was basically like a mini MBA class. Everything from marketing to financial accounting, to kind of like management and organizations, which is basically like organizational Psych. I thought that that was so cool. And I learned amazing things from my professors. So that's one of the things that I that I really really enjoyed about the experience. I wish I got to know my professors better so if you're listening and you haven't gotten to know some of your professors, I highly recommend leveraging their time and you know, taking the time to get to know them because I think they're all really incredible people and there's some of the best resources you'll ever have. So that was definitely something that I wish I had done more.

Venkat Raman  19:58  

How did you find your classmates and your peers. You mentioned a little bit about the folks in London, how was the gang in New York?

Maya B  20:10  [“Driven” Peers]

Really, truly amazing. Now, I'll kind of reiterate again, like everyone is extremely driven, and focused on focused on a goal focused on, you know, if that's business, like creating something new in the world, or making something better, and why you have a really incredible entrepreneurial culture. So there were a lot of people who were focused on kind of like the rise of technology and applying like AI and ML to existing business problems. And that was something that was really exciting to me at the time, and I was glad to have access to that. There were other too, you know, because you're in the, in the heart of the city, you have so much exposure to art and culture. And a lot of the light arts students that pitch two are focused on like acting or music, they bring such an interesting perspective. You know, from from an artistic sense and an artistic lens to what you're maybe creating with your business. So I think it was a really unique experience to kind of like go to school with people who were doing all different types of things. And to kind of blend that into, you know, what I learned being there, like half of your education is, is that the other half is, is social, right? And just kind of really learning from other students. So I love the students at NYU. Definitely a unique, a unique blend of person.

Venkat Raman  21:40  

Let's sort of switch to outside of classes and talk about campus life now. You know, you came back for your sophomore year to New York. Did you live in the campus housing, or what were the arrangements?

Maya B  21:57  [Campus Living]

It did. So I lived in dorms, all four years. I was in a dorm called palladium, my sophomore in junior year, which is basically like right on 14th Street near Union Square. And it actually like has a very funny story because it used to be like a 70s nightclub. And when you bought it, sometime in the early 2000s, it transformed it into student dorms. So if you meet all New Yorkers, they're always telling you like you live in the Palladium. So it was really kind of funny to have that experience again, right in the heart of the city right next to the subway. Great Rooms, that's probably honestly the best, the best place you'll ever live in the city and maybe the best. And then senior year, I lived in a specific dorm called Senior House that was also kind of located in the West Village.

Venkat Raman  22:59  

Now, what kind of activities were you involved in? I I know you were big into you mentioned entrepreneurial and startup kind of things, you volunteered. So give us a feel for the kinds of things you were involved in?

Maya B  23:14  [Campus Activities]

Yeah, definitely. I didn't actually get involved into startups until after I had graduated. But I was I kind of had worked a couple of jobs. I had volunteered for a nonprofit organization that was kind of really focused on bringing, like bringing funding to different parts of the world. And I worked there for a little bit. The other two years, you know, had really kind of solidified my interest in finance. So I just kind of started really working in the financial space, toward the end of my time time at NYU. And I was really kind of focused there. And then you know, I had the two jobs. I worked at a lot of restaurants. And I host a lot of tables. So that was definitely where I where I spent the majority of my of my time.

Venkat Raman  24:14  

What did you do in the summers over the over the years? Were you able to do internships and other kinds of projects? What do you do?

Maya B  24:27  [Summers]

Yeah, so between my freshman and sophomore year, I went back home to Chicago. Or in the suburbs, I went and went back home to Chicago and I worked. I worked a couple of jobs. I kind of got myself a job as kind of a a. I don't know what I would call it at this at this stage. I honestly just like went to an office park. And I knocked on the door of every business that was there. And I basically said hi I'm a college kid, here's my resume, I have skills and I'm looking for a job. Will you hire me and eventually one did. It was a, like recruiting and staffing company called Bitsoft International. And I was for them kind of like just doing a lot of marketing activities and kind of filling in wherever they didn't have space or room. So I was really kind of focused on on doing a lot of that. But I also volunteered, you know, the other few years between junior year and kind of senior year, I worked on campus as kind of the office like housing assistance. I worked as a Summer Residential assistant for summer Ra. free housing, really great. And I spent like a lot of time just like building community with other students on campus. And that was definitely one of the places where i, where i, where I spent a lot of time outside of kind of formal internships. I didn't get my first finance internship until between junior and senior year. So that was where I started, you know, working at JPMorgan, which was my first first kind of real big girl job and joined them when I when I graduated as well. So

Venkat Raman  26:18  

Okay, I guess you liked it enough, that was going to be my question.

Venkat Raman  26:28  

How did you settle on economics? I know that that's a thread that's been that was running through your college years now. Was that an interest that developed? While you were in London? I know you were looking to be a lot more global at that time. What happened? How did economics come about?

Maya B  26:49  [Majoring in Economics]

Yeah, I would say that the economics thing was like always like a thread that I was trying to figure out, like, you know, which, which, how could I apply economics in a way that like I thought would be most helpful to my career and kind of really sparked my interest the most. So after I took that class, in high school, my senior year around economics, I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is what I want to do. I got to NYU and I took that, you know, that I did the program abroad. And I thought, well, I love economics, but maybe I can take it more global, I can do more of a broad kind of understanding or spectrum of where you can apply it. And then I realized, like, no one was gonna hire me with a degree that said, global Liberal Studies and not economics, right? switch majors and kind of get back into something a little bit more traditional, and kind of really, really clear in terms of what I'm studying on. So I switched back to like, full, full economics my sophomore year. And that was kind of the, the reason for kind of kind of getting back into it. But I feel like it played a really great role in my future career. And in my role in finance, because what I did with econ was kind of really get a good sense for understanding how money flows worked around the world. And on the team that I was at, at JPMorgan, I was actually on a team that focused on government, health care, higher ed, and nonprofit and did kind of focus with organizations sometimes that did, that did funding around the world, or that did kind of, you know, had operations in other countries. And so understanding money flows, understanding, market understanding, you know, lending and kind of like capital flows were super important in terms of really getting a good background for the role. So I definitely think it helped shape a lot of my future career.

Venkat Raman  28:57  

Before we move on, I do want to talk to talk a little bit about the startups and the various sort of entrepreneurial ventures or activities that you've engaged in over the years. I just thought it was fascinating. So talk a little bit about that. I mean, I, you know, how that interest turned into a drive and actual execution?

Maya B  29:22  [Interest in Startups]

Yes. Yeah. 100%. That was something that actually came to me came to me through like a little bit of boredom after I had graduated. So I'll say I always thought that, like startups were very interesting. But at the time when I was in college, you know, I was more risk averse. I really was trying to have a career that I knew would ensure mine and my family's kind of financial stability because I was kind of sending money home at that time, and so I I was like, I don't have the risk profile to do startups right now. Like, I'm not even gonna focus on it. And then about a year into working my first role at JPMorgan, I realized, like, actually, I have a pretty great entrepreneurial spirit. And I think I should maybe start, start this business. And my best friend, who I met, the first day of class was actually at NYU, my freshman year, my best friend and I were living together at the time. And he was like, I think we should start this business, blah, blah, blah. So we kind of like started, you know, learning a lot about entrepreneurship and bridging together all of our experience and, you know, reading the Lean Startup by Eric Ries to do everything possible to get ourselves ready for entrepreneurship. And this is While both of us kind of still working. And I remember thinking at that time, like, wow, starting a startup is going to be hard work. But we can definitely do it because we're smart. Like we're just smart undergraduates. And I'm really glad that I went down that path, because I learned a lot. That first bit, did not pan out. But I really realized through that exploration of like, what does it look like to draw up a business plan and like try to find customers and to interview people and to talk to people about this and, you know, create a product from scratch, you know, that that interest and kind of that experience is something that propelled the rest of my career towards tech and startups. When I when I finally did leave JPMorgan, I left in 2018, after kind of being there for about three and a half, almost four years, and pivoted my career kind of firmly into startup land, and technology. And I don't think that I would have been able to do that, had I not, you know, met, the type of people I've met at NYU, or, you know, kind of been fortunate enough to be exposed to people who worked in the tech field, or who worked in technology at that, at that stage. And kind of what it's like to kind of have some founders DNA. So I definitely was exposed to it, I wish that I could have been exposed more to the topic of entrepreneurship when I was an undergrad. But I just didn't, I just didn't know, you know, what existed in kind of a tech landscape at that time. And so it took me a while to get there, but I'm glad I got there eventually.

Venkat Raman  32:25  

I was going to ask as well, how NYU has shaped the stuff you've done. So obviously, entrepreneurship is one big area. Anything else that NYU has been instrumental in? You know, making happen?

Maya B  32:43  [NYU’s Impact]

Um, yeah, I would say NYU has been really instrumental in helping me meet an access kind of like the right people in the right opportunity. And I would say that the campus of NYU is unique. Yes, because it's in the middle of the city, but also, because the opportunities that you have by going to NYU, I mean, like, like, every single company basically has a headquarters or an office in New York, or at least they did at the time, that people still went to office. So during this die, right, pre pandemic, people went to physical offices. And in a physical office, like everyone had a headquarters there, you know, so our Career Center was extremely robust. You know, people came to campus all the time, like celebrities into campus, people who were, you know, and really high up at firms into our campus, all the financial firms came to our campus. And it was extremely kind of easy to meet someone who, not that easy, but it still took work. But it was definitely, we were allowed to have access to people who could really give us a leg up in kind of getting getting the next role or introduce us to new seals. And that's something that I think NYU does extremely well, I spend a lot of time at the Career Center. And they do that they do that really, really well. And it's open to alumni forever as well. So that was something that I think, was really special and specific about being on that campus that I know not every school has, has access or light or leverage to do. So I am grateful for that.

Venkat Raman  34:30  

So let's go back in time. You said a little bit about, you wish you had done more things entrepreneurial, I guess on campus while you were there. Now, if you had a chance to go back and relive those four years, what would you do differently? If anything?

Maya B  34:49  [NYU Redo]

Yeah, if I could go back in time and redo some things. I would definitely have tried to get into tech and entrepreneurship sooner. I did not realize I think how big the landscape was going to be in technology. And I think I definitely was stuck on the fact that like, maybe you had to be a computer scientist in the tech field. And that's not the case, right. But I didn't have that exposure. When I was in college, I know that like, there were other roles like that you could do product, or that you could do operations or like other other kind of roles in early stage technology companies, and they were all booming in New York, like they're in a really specific time period. And I definitely wish that I kind of like leveraged a little bit more of that to find out more about that path, I think it probably would have brought me down, it probably would have brought me to where I am sooner, I think I think everyone has their own unique individual path. And I'm really grateful to kind of have meandered in a few different ways, because I've pivoted my career now like two or three different times. And I'm really grateful for each experience that I've had, because it all plays into kind of like, who I am now as a leader. And as a as a founder, you know, once again, in another business. So I definitely think that that's something I would have, would have done differently. If I could go back in time, maybe I would have found it sooner. And then the second thing that I would do, if I could go back in time 100% would take more, maybe take more time to like hang out with friends, I wish I wasn't working so much. You know, I kind of had a little bit of a tough situation. So I didn't really have much of a choice. But I think if I could, I would have spent way more time just having like, fun with with friends of mine on campus. You know, we're also very close now. So we have lots of fun outside of outside of our academic experience, but I would have loved to kind of continue to make those memories. earlier on. I did get to take one really fun class like one fun class for me actually to I took a voice class to kind of like reawakened interested in me. And that was awesome. As an elective. And I also took a ballet dance class with my best friend from like, literally one of the founders of like the modern dance movement, which is really cool. And like something that I feel like, wow, you can only do that at NYU, where, you know, is literally like the foundation of modern modern dance. So I closed some fun in there, but I would have loved to kind of explore more of that on campus. And then the professors meeting the professor's hanging out with your professors. So current current college kids, go ahead and get the professor's there often people.

Venkat Raman  37:46  

No, that's a great point. In fact, I'm glad you mentioned about ballet and theater because I was going to say that you spend so much time in high school in theater theater related stuff, and then it seemed like you didn't do a whole lot at NYU based on what we were talking about. So I'm glad you got a shot at doing a few things.

Venkat Raman  38:12  

What would you tell students, high school students about college about applying to college maybe about going to NYU?

Maya B  38:22  [Advice to High School Students]

Yeah. For any high school students who are applying to NYU, I would say the school is huge. Meaning there are so many opportunities there. It is a really large place with incredible resources, and lots of people. So my advice would be, you know, explore the different programs as much as you possibly can, I would talk to alumni or talk to the admissions rep. They're really incredible people, I would go on a tour, you know, now that the pandemic is kind of using up people can travel again, if you can, I would 100% of the time to go on a tour, and campus in person, because I think you'll really get a feel for the energy there on campus. So I would definitely look at look at those things if we're looking to apply. And then when you actually apply. I know there's a lot of there's a lot of kind of stress given to like, you know, what are your SAT and ACT scores? And what does the essay look like? And like, did you put together the best package possible? And we're most definitely competitive pool. But I would say that my my advice for like the application process for any school, and that's including kind of like, you know, Harvard Business School where I am now. If you are applying to school, it really does behoove you to be like you, you have to be you. And I would say be you can craft, the narrative that you feel tells your story that in an authentic way. I think one of the things that stood out on my NYU application and also kind of online, even on my Harvard applications, even then I had a lot of initiative, I had done, you know, a lot of different things, I had explored a lot of things. And I kind of really focused on like, wanting to use my mind knowledge and my interest to impact the world in a unique way, but like a unique way, a way that was like, very tailored to where my interests were. And I think sometimes what I see people do on on applications is, like, tried to say what they think the admissions wants to hear, which is, you know, go here, and I'm going to volunteer, and you know, Africa do XYZ. And like, I don't think that the admissions wants to hear your version of what they have what they think you should be. We want to hear why you specifically, like, want to focus in this thing? And like, how will you use your knowledge to impact NYU campus? Or how will you use your knowledge to impact the world going forward? Like, what what is it that we are, that your purpose is to do? When I know it's really hard to find a purpose when you're just starting out? But definitely, you know, give it give it some some early thoughts on like, what do I think I'm, I'm here like, on the first to do at least for the meantime, for a couple of years, what do I think I'm meant to do for a couple of years, and that can change. But I think that that's one of the things that's important, it's important to convey when you're when you're flying.

Venkat Raman  41:36  

So, Maya, we are beginning to wind down here. Any favorite memories or traditions that you want to share about NYU?

Maya B  41:46  [Memories]

Oh, gosh, um, favorite traditions, I will say like, there's a super weird tradition. That's not really NYU based at all. But it's a tradition that happens in in Washington Square Park, which is where the NYU campuses, and it's the New York Annual pillow fight. And there's a pillow hype that happened. I kid you not like between random people in New York, like people just show up in the park. It's like a whole day. And you know, hello. And you just randomly hit strangers with pillows. And it's supposed to be like one of those. You know, it's just supposed to make people feel good. And you know, kind of relax a bit because the city is a hard place to live. So it's kind of one of the standout memories I've gone on with every year that I've been in New York, to just kind of like, relieve some stress, you go with your friends, and hit people with pillows. And it's an honestly like, wonderful, wonderful tradition. I hope New York never gives it up. But New York is like wonderfully weird in that way. And I definitely think that that's one of my, one of my favorite memories.

Venkat Raman  42:55  

Oh, that's sounds hilarious and amazing. Never heard of it. So it sounds like the right thing to do. Okay, so Maya, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. And also, you know, by giving it so much detail, as well as time and I'm sure the high schoolers out there will appreciate all this. And hopefully, it makes a difference in their lives. So I'm sure we'll talk more, but for right now. Take care, be safe, and all the best with your school.

Maya B  43:33  

Thank you. And thanks, everyone, for listening. Thanks. Thanks for having me.

Venkat Raman  43:37  

Sure. Thanks. Take care. Bye.

---------------------

Venkat  43:46  [Close]

Hi again!

Hope you enjoyed our podcast with Maya Brooks on New York University.

Maya’s NYU Undergraduate experience was both very rich and challenging.

Her freshman year in London started her off with a great global perspective. Her transition to the NYC campus in her sophomore year was a little rough socially, and also due to some personal challenges.

But Maya soldiered on, both in the classroom and outside - finding an interest in Finance and passion in startups by the time she was graduating.

Her years at NYU created a vibrant network of friends and peers that she carries with her today.

I hope Maya’s experience gives you a good idea of what to expect at NYU.

For your questions or comments on this podcast, please email podcast at almamatters.io [podcast@almamatters.io].

Thank you all so much for listening to our podcast today.

Transcripts for this podcast and previous podcasts are on almamatters.io forward slash podcasts [almamatters.io/podcasts].

To stay connected with us, Subscribe to Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify or visit anchor.fm forward slash almamatters [anchor.fm/almamatters] to check us out.

Till we meet again, take care and be safe.

Thank you!

Summary Keywords

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