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Deciding on Schools and the Future, Manu Goswami (2/4)

School, The Future

You have a life…you know what you need to do. How’s life at UofT?


People tend to look down on U of T and say it’s really hard. To a certain extent, this is true, because there are hard profs who expect a lot. But the reason he loves it is that at U of T, he has found a program that works for him and can accommodate his crazy travel schedule.

Something worth noting is that what he is currently studying has very little to do with his passion for business and entrepreneurship. Manu is currently in a program examining peace and conflict studies, majors that are far far away from entrepreneurship and business.

But what that means for him is that the majority of his coursework and the load is actually just writing papers! There are no in-class exams, he can travel and do what he needs to do.

The other benefit for him is that what he is learning can actually really help him if he chooses to enter the field of politics.

One of the most important insights that Keshav and I learned from this chat, was the Manu does not see university as something that is going to get him a job, which is a  mindset that a lot of people have. Whether that’s right or wrong, this viewpoint is his own and is what works for him. 

He actually takes pride in that. The exact quote “My life is unconventional, I like it that way. I am going to continue that way.”

So what are some of the items that we can take away from Manu when it comes to planning for university and your future? Look for a program that fits you and your needs. Do what is right and comfortable for you. Keep in mind that university isn’t just some factory that’s going to prepare you for a job. It’s an experience and a place to learn valuable skills.

Many of the people listening are going through the process of choosing universities. What was your uni application process like? What do you think people should look for?


In Manu’s words, his “process was the same as everyone else” where he “wrote an essay, applications, got nervous, got cocky” and everything in between.

The big difference for Manu was that he had a set of expectations and items that he wanted to check off when he was looking for a university.

  1. Find a university in a beautiful city
  2. Find a place with a lot of opportunities
  3. Find a great community that he could benefit from based on his entrepreneurial dream

All of those factors together are what ultimately pushed Many to choose the University of Toronto.

So what should you look for when choosing a university?

If you are really looking for a job, the reputation of your university doesn’t matter anymore. What matters the most when choosing your university is that every action you take should map to something, where “something” is your end destination.

What matters the most at university is truly the people you meet, and how you are using the opportunities around you to accelerate your grades, extra-curriculars, non-profits, or business.

There are too many people that gravitate towards that reputation and believe that once they have that reputation, it’s all they need. But it’s not… That’s a logic and belief that may have been true around our parents’ time. Sadly, there are going to be a ton of U of T grads, that are going to be unemployed, while there will be tons of Ryerson grads who are taking the spot that they want.

What really matters the most is your passion. How you take advantage of your opportunities. How you make the most of what you have. More than anything, connections > reputation.

Something that pops out is that you are studying a political science major. Has that always been your thing? Why are you studying it if your passion is entrepreneurship and business?


Manu has actually been a competitive debater for 7 years, he was known as a competitive debater before all the Top 20 under 20 stuff came up. He enjoys talking about issues and analyzing them deeply, and it has always been a huge part of his life. One of the things that he ended up doing was a policy internship in DC, an experience that was a dream come true and changed his life.

If anything his choice of study is indicative of his passion, not something that is immediate, but a potential area he wants to explore later. [I get a feeling we’re talking to a future prime minister here] Politics wasn’t something that came out of nowhere like “volcanic studies”.  He still gave a lot of thought to his choice of major and evaluating his passions, but when picking his school, the most important factor for him was all about his school-life balance, and what he actually wanted to accomplish outside of school.

What’s next for you?


He hopes he has no idea what he is going to be doing in the next 2 or 3 years. Keeps life exciting. [that’s something I find so admirable, going with the flow?]

In the short term, Manu is planning to move to New York in May, while taking online courses from U of T so he can complete his degree.

In summary, he’s trying to be trying to do things that are “super practical and aligned with his goals”, which appear to lie in the realm of entrepreneurship, marketing, and the general umbrella of business. He’s going through some of the final rounds of interviews with google in their digital marketing department, and he might even be fielding an offer from Gary Vaynerchuk to work on his personal team.

For sure, the next few months are going to be consumed with his work on Technotronics, his wearable tech startup. On top of that, he’s working part time at a venture capital firm in business development, since it pays wells, gives him access to valuable connections, and a path to a sustainable career.

“But hey, ask this question in 8 months and I hope I will give you a different answer”

With so many projects, when you finish them, how do you decide where to go next?


In Manu’s eyes, an entrepreneur is someone who can’t stay in the same place after the growth stage of a business. So he is constantly assessing whether he can add value to his current project or whether there are other potential things that he could be working on.

That’s why he starts so many projects. It’s not because he wants to add to his resume, but it’s because that for his current project, it begins to feel like he can’t add anymore value and he starts to feel really bored.

So how decide where to go next? He picks out 4 to 5 areas that he wants to work in. Dead simple. Right now, the NBA, Bollywood, entertainment, and music are some of his current areas of interest. Of course, he’s never going to be an NBA player, but he’s always looking for a way to see if he can add value and influence some of these areas.

 

In life and entrepreneurship, there are always a lot of “pivots” or changes in direction. Let’s say you pivot and move from where you originally intended. How do you embrace that? Once you pivot, do you naturally assume that things are going to work out in the pivot direction?


What is a pivot? It’s when you have a change in direction or strategy of your business. To many, a pivot is figuring out something that will interest you even more than what you are currently working on right now.

For example, his company Rafiki media was originally supposed to be a social media agency, but he decided to pivot it into a brand management agency. Not because there was more money to be made, but because the conditions in his own life changed.

On Instagram, he was reached out to by an NBA player by the name of Trevor Booker. There seemed to be a lot of Bollywood actors who needed his help. Manu saw the potential to help them build and manage their brand, and opportunity that he thought was larger than social media.

Project 5K Podcast: Focusing, Motivation, and Working harder vs Working Smarter with Manu Goswami (1/4)

Never miss out an opportunity because you think it’s too far out of your reach or you think it will never work. Near the end of March this year I decided to reach out to Manu Goswami, a man I look up to for advice on for getting started and focusing on the pain points that really matter.

For those of you who don’t know Swish, he is a social entrepreneur, public speaker, and a venture capitalist he is also a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 under 20 award.

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2017-2018 Executive Applications

We’re opening up applications for the 2017-2018 executive positions!

Project 5K is a non-profit, student run organization that helps students find meaningful volunteer opportunities, and teach them how to contribute back to the community.

Some of the stuff our executive team does:

  • Reach out to find new partners for volunteer opportunities
  • Find sponsorships to support our events and ongoing operations
  • Lead volunteers at events, making sure they have a great time
  • Plan our own events, like one where we brought 30 volunteers downtown to give sandwiches to the homeless
  • Design promotional posters and t-shirts
  • Document our events through photography and film
  • Interview and meet cool people (CEOs, entrepreneurs, leaders) to create podcasts and blog posts, creating content that students would love
  • Manage technical services such as Mailchimp, EventBrite, and our website

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Project 5K Podcast: “Constantly Learning” with Newton Zheng (3/3)

This is the final part of the three-part interview series with Newton Zheng. Newton is a social entrepreneur currently in his 2nd year at the Commerce Program in Queen’s University. He’s a former national badminton champion, founder of 2 nonprofits, and runs his own web development and graphic design firm ePropel. His first non-profit Project 5K is a student-run organization dedicated to encouraging volunteerism and giving back to the community. His second non-profit is called SJMF Youth and raises money each year to travel to and build houses in the Dominican Republic. He’s also a super nice guy and good friend of mine. I actually interviewed him after he graciously let my friend Lucy and I room at his house on our visit to Queen’s (right before running out to catch a bus back to Toronto). I hope you enjoy!


In the final part of this series, Newton talks about his definition of success, his next big opportunity, and the need to constantly learn. Check it out! Read more

Project 5K Podcast: Entrepreneurship with Newton Zheng (2/3)

Newton is a social entrepreneur currently in his 2nd year at the Commerce Program in Queen’s University. He’s a former national badminton champion, founder of 2 non profits, and runs his own web development and graphic design firm ePropel. His first non-profit Project 5K is a student run organization dedicated to encouraging volunteerism and giving back to the community. His second non-profit is called SJMF Youth, and raises money each year to travel to and build houses in the Dominican Republic. He’s also a super nice guy and good friend of mine. I actually interviewed him after he graciously let my friend Lucy and I room at his house on our visit to Queen’s (right before running out to catch a bus back to Toronto). I hope you enjoy!


Newton is a participant in Ontario’s Summer Company Program, where he started his own business ePropel. It is a web development, graphic design, and digital marketing firm. Over the course of our talk, we ended up talking a little about his business, a lot of which might help a lot of people who may be interested in entrepreneurship themselves!

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Project 5K Podcast: Life Lessons with Newton Zheng (1/3)

This interview series is with Newton Zheng. Newton is a social entrepreneur currently in his 2nd year at the Commerce Program in Queen’s University. He’s a former national badminton champion, founder of 2 nonprofits, and runs his own web development and graphic design firm ePropel. His first non-profit Project 5K is a student-run organization dedicated to encouraging volunteerism and giving back to the community. His second non-profit is called SJMF Youth, and raises money each year to travel to and build houses in the Dominican Republic. He’s also a super nice guy and good friend of mine. I actually interviewed him after he graciously let my friend Lucy and I room at his house on our visit to Queen’s (right before running out to catch a bus back to Toronto). I hope you enjoy!


In the first part of the series with Newton, he talks about what he would do differently if he went back in time, his own passions, and the most important life advice that he wants to share with you guys!

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Project 5K Podcast: Parenting and the Future with Lucas Chang (4/4)

They say save the best for last, and that rule definitely applies to the fourth and final part of our interview series with Lucas Chang. These clips are my favorite by far, and Lucas gets into his plans for the future, how he raises his kids, the potential of students, and some final advice that he wants to leave with all you high school readers.


For those of you just joining us, Lucas is a social entrepreneur and is the founder of Startup York Region and the Y2 Entrepreneurship Conference. He formerly worked at Telus, runs his own business consultancy on the side, and is currently part of a software Startup called PerfectlySoft.

This is part four of a four-part series click here to see the other three parts:

  1. LIFE LESSONS WITH LUCAS CHANG 
  2. “FINDING YOUR WHY”
  3. “MONEY AND SUCCESS”

One of Lucas’s passions is to give back and mentor youth in the community. He takes pride in his ability to building a community and making connections between people. To him, that’s “where the magic happens.”

Read more

Project 5K Podcast: “Money and Success” with Lucas Chang (3/4)

This is the third post in an interview series with Lucas Chang. In these clips, he talks about his perspectives on money and success in his life. He gets into how he really defines success through his children, the importance of helping others, and what his own personal definition of success is.

 

For those of you just joining us, Lucas is a social entrepreneur and is the founder of Startup York Region and the Y2 Entrepreneurship Conference. He formerly worked at Telus, runs his own business consultancy on the side, and is currently part of a software Startup called PerfectlySoft.

One of Lucas’s passions is to give back and mentor youth in the community. He takes pride in his ability to building a community and making connections between people. To him, that’s “where the magic happens.”

Read more

Project 5K Podcast: “Finding Your Why” with Lucas Chang (2/4)

What is your why? Finding your why


This is the second post in an interview series with Lucas Chang. In these clips, he talks about the need to “start with why” and how students like ourselves can find our own passions, interests, and purpose in life. 

For those of you just joining us, Lucas is a social entrepreneur and is the founder of Startup York Region and the Y2 Entrepreneurship Conference. He formerly worked at Telus, runs his own business consultancy on the side, and is currently part of a software Startup called PerfectlySoft.

One of Lucas’s passions is to give back and mentor youth in the community. He takes pride in his ability to building a community and making connections between people. To him, that’s “where the magic happens.” Read more

Project 5K Podcast: Life Lessons with Lucas Chang (1/4)

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Welcome to the Project 5K Podcast where we interview some cool people with some cool words! We noticed that a lot of students didn’t really know what they wanted to do with their life, were missing perspective, or just seemed really stressed and lost. We started this interview series/ podcast so we can share the perspective and experience of “successful” and interesting people, so that you can have the wisdom and life advice you need to tackle life!

 

The very first guest on our podcast is Lucas Chang. Lucas considers himself to be a social entrepreneur and is a co-lead of Startup York Region and a co-founder of the Y2 Entrepreneurship Conference. He formerly worked at Telus, runs his own business consultancy on the side, and is currently part of a software Startup called PerfectlySoft.

One of Lucas’s passions is to give back and mentor youth in the community. He takes pride in his ability to building a community and making connections between people. To him, that’s “where the magic happens.”

Read more

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