BrainStation Founder & CEO
BrainStation Certificate, Data Analytics
Current Time 0:00
Duration Time -:-
Progress: NaN%

How did you get to where you are today? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path? What inspired you to start your training institute?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, so Ah, few in there. I think what comes to mind first and foremost is what everyone watching this call is currently doing. So going through my own educational experience ultimately is what led me here a za route. Eso I think being a student, being a learner, experiencing the things that I enjoyed, the gaps that exist in my experiences on getting into the market after finishing my bachelors of commerce. I think just entering into that space and seeing where the industry was at the different areas that I was most interested in, You know, the ways that I was prepared in traditional academia on then the gaps that existed in between that and going to market Andi, that's more or less what lead to brain stations. Inception. It was ultimately a pretty typical entrepreneurial story where someone's looking to solve a problem that they haven't necessarily found. The solution for so kind of my educational background entering into the market as digital adoption was rapidly accelerating in the early 2010 on, then creating that solution to better align non technical individuals out of college for the actual marketplace in digital and innovation

What training programs and courses do you offer? How much time is spent on in-person and online classes in a week? How many weeks do students typically take to complete?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yes. Oh, great question. This varies at the moment. Everything's online during this global pandemic. We made that shift in March. About three years ago, we started experimenting with online instructor led training For those that are tuning in that are familiar with online live fitness like peloton. Very similar. So we were in that space about three years ago experimenting with online or virtual instructor led training with industry experts. So we've been doing that for three years, and we've been teaching in person for about eight years now. What we started three years ago really prepared us well, for what? No one saw coming, which was a global pandemic. So, upon the shutdown of all of our campuses globally, um, we already had about 45% of our, um our learning happening online first eso it wasn't so drastic of a change for us relative to some others that were primarily on site or physical, based on Lee S o. You know, the short answer is online all at the moment, but typically about 50 50. It really depends on the learner type and where they're located. We have campuses for digital skills training in cities such as New York. A swell of London, England, Vancouver many different other cities We've operated and deliver learning solutions in Boston and Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle. So ah, whole lot of on site offerings. But I think the pandemic in particular, has really showcased to us the influence that we could make outside of those cities. So rural America all over the world. Since the pandemic, we've actually had 90 different countries represented in our live training environment learning skills from digital practitioners. So it's both in person online. At the moment. It's all online on. I think it varies depending on the goals and in just the scenario of the learner or the student. In terms of timing, we have various different learning products and experiences. Um, we have everything from, you know, a learning experience that fits better into someone that's working a 9 to 5 so myself. I've taken plenty. Of course, is that brain station as well. I just completed Data Analytics, and I did that on Tuesday evenings, three hours per week, times 10 weeks in a row, and that's a typical example of what we call our brain station certificate courses and again really meant for the working professionals roughly 25 to 40 hours of training in person or online with an instructor or group of instructors. The entire time on the student to teacher ratio is something interesting as well. We find ourselves in an environment of anywhere from 6 to 1, all the way up to 8 to 1 where you'll have an instructor for every Aatish students. Let's call it s Oh, very much so. A mentor ship, hands on project based model aan den. We have other programs that arm or so for those that are quitting their jobs or leaving college and looking to get into, ah, new space. So what? I talked about Data Analytics. That's something that myself is a business operator. I benefit and I incorporate into leveling myself up in my existing career. Whereas we have these full time diploma programs, or boot camps that essentially operate for 12 weeks straight over 40 hours, a week of hands on and project based learning in a really, really intimate environment again either online or on site eso, it varies. Those programs, which are the full time boot camps, are really meant to help you to become a user experience designer. That's one program a digital marketer. That's another program. A data scientist. That's another program on, then a Web developer. That's our our fourth program on those programs are over 400 hours of training and a matter of three months. So essentially take a master's program, condense it, make it a lot more hands on Project based taught by industry practitioners. Andrea Lee What we're looking to embody is on the job training as much as possible so that you can just walk right into your first role, a za junior software developer.

What process do you follow for creating and updating courses? How do you ensure the relevance of topics and material covered?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, Another great question. I think what we teach a brain station is high growth digital skill sets, and therefore you would only imagine that our curriculum are content. Our educational platform needs to be moving and changing at a very fast pace to keep up with the technology industry. So in order to do this, we we operate a model which is called agile content design a CD, which is something that we've coined internally on we work with our industry practitioners are subject matter experts that actually work in the field. So I'll use an example here if we're talking about one of our part time certificate courses in user experience designers an example right now. Globally, we have roughly about 36 to 40 user experience design instructors from the likes of Amazon and Facebook and Instagram all the way through to Apple and Google. So tons of the top technology companies and minds in the world are not just contributing to our content in real time, but also teaching in the classroom. So you know that you're getting actually what is being demonstrated. An industry and this agile approach to learning and content creation allows us to deliver an experience which is as relevant as that day is that you're learning it. A quick example in our digital marketing course. Instagram changed the algorithm about a year ago and we had 22 digital marketing instructors across North America and in London as well in the UK And they that day changed the curriculum for that class that was being taught in four different markets that evening, or I say evening, but it really depended where he depends. Uh, depending where you were in the world, obviously, London being different from New York being different from Seattle.Yeah. I mean, it's typically done through a mix of inbound and outbound. So the good thing is, at this point, the brain station brand is the top digital skills trainer in the world. So we have a flood of applicants coming in from all of the companies that I mentioned above trying to get involved for them. They're teaching part time. So again, this is This is a Tuesday night for three hours. It's their way of giving back to the the community that they exist in the international community, that they can touch through our online streaming training opportunities, and the other option is outbound. So we go and find the digital leaders in these various categories, and we reach out to those that we would love to have in the classroom, both online and or on site on. Do we get them into the brain station process? We go through the right vetting criteria and processes. We take them through several interviews and challenges to ensure that they're not only an industry expert, but they also know how to present approach learners with empathy, provide mentor ship, coaching all these good things, also understanding how to contribute to our learning design efforts and our curriculum curriculum creation eso the long and short is is really just a mix of inbound and outbound.Yes. So the content initially is solidified by a mix of trusted subject matter experts that we work with upon the inception of the course or the educational product we go through discovery process and ideation phase on all the way through to getting that course live once the courses live. The initial product instance is then out there. And as we add, instructors on DWI launch new fleets of courses with more instructors, we have more content contributors to the curriculum. So what initially started as the curriculum for digital marketing as an example with maybe the six subject matter experts that we worked with on the product we now have, you know, 10 digital marketing instructors teaching across four different markets, five different time zones. Let's call it s Oh, what that ends up having is a an initial version of that contents and then a secondary version. Then it iterated from there. So as the demand for that product digital marketing increases, we obviously need more instructors. We get those instructors coming coming from various digital first organizations all across the world, and the curriculum really does become a living and breathing thing

What criteria do you use to admit students and what are the various student profiles in your programs? What kind of career growth and jobs could students get afterward?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
yes, So this varies depending on the course or program that they're looking to take. If it's one of the 30 to 40 hour, part time courses for professional development purposes, thes air registration based so anyone can go in registered for the course on but really fits into this bucket of continuing studies. So again, these are people that have nine to fives are not looking to necessarily completely changed their career. They're looking to add to their already existing skill set on, then go back either into their current role or find a new role that's a bit more digitally focused than where they are currently. For those that are applying for our full time boot camps or diploma programs, Thea admissions criteria is is pretty specific, depending on what program we're speaking about. Um, while everyone can apply, we do have certain criteria that we're looking for, and then it's just based on number of seats available and how competitive the applicants are. Eso that various per market per program. A couple examples. Someone taking data science may have ah masters in mathematics or an undergraduate in computer science and are looking to level up and get more into data. Science, which may be when they were in school, wasn't as big of a thing. They weren't aware of it, whatever it may be. So we tend to see and Seymour of this where there are those coming into our full time diploma programs with some sort of skill set that really reflects the skills that they're about to learn. Another example would be we end up with a lot of mechanical engineers, for whatever reason, that are taking our Web development boot camp on. I think that's just they already have a really good back backbone and mathematics on engineering and in structured and analytical thinking. So they're able now to apply that to a new craft in Web development. So they hit the ground running running very quickly, and we find that they ultimately are the most successful out of our programs. Um, but it isn't necessarily that they have that exact digital background. Another example that we've seen a whole lot of in our user experience design program is actually architect so traditionally trained architects in the physical space that have a lot of the foundations there for what what's required to become a user experience designer, which more or less is an architect of the Internet. So a lot of these traditional skills actually map on beautifully to the digital skills that they enhance that brain station.

How do you enable collaboration, social interaction, and comradery among students? Do you use any software, host online or offline events, or follow any processes for this?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, we have, ah, a wide variety of dynamic engagements that are set up for our learners and our students learners I refer to as those that are learning outside of their 9 to 5 on then students or those that do not have employment because they're going back to school full time. So both for learners and students, we have a variety of different engagement types. One is our community is very vibrant. We have panels that happen every other week. We call this the digital leadership Siri's. You can find it on brain station Dario under the Events Tab and the NAB Bar. And there you'll see speakers like we had recently videos, chief marketing officer, hop on and talk about his journey where digital marketing is going, etcetera. So that's really tapping into a level of thought leadership. And for those events, we've had representation of up to 6500 professionals tuning in all at once for those livestreamed events with these industry experts, that's one example. Um, there are others as well. We have social set up in each of our markets. If you're taking programming at brain station, we also have sociales that we have on a week to week basis, depending on what the program is. Um, creating that camaraderie with students both in person and online is exceptionally important. And when you're doing something like a fully immersive 400 hour, 12 weeks straight boot camp, you end up creating these amazing relationships that you can carry on inter day to day. So we definitely through a bunch of different things have created that environment. Another really important one is we have our own L X P or learning experience platform that we built in house with our software. Engineers are digital designers and our digital product managers. So also, you know, known as ah learning management system. But there's a bit more advanced in the way that you can collaborate and connect with your students. A swell as your instructors eso. In this circumstance, you can submit projects you can do in APP chat. You can review other people's projects. You can connect with your peers outside of class. All of that is enabled through the software that we've created in the House on this learning experience platform or exp brain station is called Sina

How do you support your students for internships or jobs? How do you prepare them for job interviews? How do you provide networking and mentoring opportunities?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, great question. So this also depends if it's those learning around their 9 to 5. The focus is less on getting a new job. It's really leveling up in their current role at work. But if we're talking about the full time students that have quit their job and have come to brain station looking, thio accelerate into, ah, pretty different career path through digital skills. We have a very robust career success team and a dynamic set of programming that we established. So let's let's assume that you're in one of our 12 week immersive, full time boot camps. The boot camp itself is 12 weeks or three months. What the career success programming or what brain station calls are Career Accelerator program actually is nine months long. So you have the career success programming built into three core months of what you're learning. Let's say you're learning Web development throughout the program. Our career success team is bringing in speakers representing industry, going through interview prep, helping you to develop your online profile. If you're in Web development, you'd be using git Hub, and that's where you're gonna be displaying your code and your portfolio pieces, etcetera because that's ultimately what will get you hired. But once you graduate the three month immersive boot camp, you actually still have six more months of career success, help and ultimately, the final six of the nine months of the Career Accelerator program, which is specifically architected to get you employed. Um, and at the moment we're sitting at above 90% hiring rates within 180 days or less to get you directly into a digital role based on the new skills that you've developed.

How do you assist students in paying for your program? What kind of scholarships and financial aid are available for students and how can they avail those?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
yes. So there are many ways to pay for our programs. I mean, ultimately painful is always an option, but we have created many different solutions to help those that need it most, especially because the average age of our students sits above 30 years of age. Ah, lot of these students already have or most already have seven plus years of experience before coming back to brain station. A lot already have masters. I think Now it's about 25% already have a master's or PhD, so we don't want them to go all the way back into hundreds of thousands of student debt, which they may have just been able to pay off. Eso there. Things like our 12 month or 24 month payment plans were able to pay in monthly installments. We also have scholarships readily available for various groups. Entrepreneurs Way have a scholarship for diversity inclusion scholarship for women in Tech. We have veterans. We have current college for recent college graduates as well. That may find themselves, you know, already in a lot of student debt that they're looking to pay off so thes scholarships are available and financial aid is available also depending on the state or even the country that you're operating within. Like I said, we have students or learners tuning in for digital skills training from us from across 90 countries. So that very much so varies not just at the state level, but at the country level. But all of that is available on our website. If you were looking to check it out

What marketing software and channels do you use to find and engage prospective students? Which are less effective? Which one do you recommend to students to learn?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yes. So we teach digital marketing on very much. So practice what we preach. Eso a big channel for us is linked in. Like I said, our learners being over 30 years of age, I think fit into this category of already active members in the economies and the communities that they existent. They've already been working for up to seven years or more. Eso Lincoln is definitely a channel that that we're able to engage with potential learners, potential students, also our instructors and educators that we're looking to hire. So it highly suggest if you're not on LinkedIn, get on Lincoln. So it's a great spot. Um, we're also on different channels through social. So Facebook or instagram um, use a lot of email marketing to send news. We have a blog's ah ah, pretty in depth content strategy on all these things are things that we teach. I think search engine search engine optimization is something toe look into. If you're a current student or, you know, aspiring marketer of some sort on guy would say those would all be good examples of where you can get started and better understand the overall digital marketing landscape. The software that would be used. I mean, an email marketing software, a content management system. I'm not going to speak to exactly what those would be, because I think it very much so depends that I don't want Thio point out favorites, but we've leveraged various types. So for those students out there, I would check out email marketing software. They have different purposes, some arm or for, you know, new customers. Some are for employees, some for existing customers. Obviously, all of the social platforms are more or less operating like software. If you're in Facebook ads, manager or Google ads, um, an interesting channel, as well as to check out Reddit and Cora, depending on the size of the business that you're operating with. I think it's an amazing place to start if you're a small business operator. But for the most part, ah, lot of it is just done within the platforms that we operating within versus actually having a specified set of software

How has the demand for certain skills and technologies changed? What kind of jobs would see big growth in the upcoming years?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, it's been very interesting being in the space over the past eight years as a young entrepreneur looking to grow myself. And I think I'm always on a day to day basis approach approaching my work in a state of curiosity and thankfully to your point, I get to interact with some of the top minds in technology. We have over 400 instructors now spread across the U. S. And and other international markets that represent top digital brand. So I'm always trying to get some time with them. I connect with them as they're becoming instructors, building content with us, etcetera. And that keeps me in the rest of my team in tune with what's actually happening in the industry. And then we also operate as an education technology company, building our own software, operating our own digital marketing budgets across platforms, etcetera. So ah, lot of what we teach. We actually practice for our core business, And there isn't a huge gap in terms of what brain station is doing in terms of digital and what some of the big tech or more innovative technology startups are operating like in market as a fast growing education Tech startup ourselves or scale up? Um, some of the changes that I've seen I mean, the biggest one is just inevitably, there is a huge gap in terms off digital consumption, and then digital creation and building capabilities is more people pandemic aside because that's obviously accelerated this drastically. But even before the pandemic, the amount of digital consumption has expanded drastically with with better telecommunications, higher speed Internet capabilities in America and across various global markets. It's never been so prevalent to have the right digital skills to build on those platforms that people are consuming. Oh, he's banking as an example. You know, It wasn't too long ago that no one would have imagined doing any banking online. It would all be done in person. A to this point, I can't recall the last time I went into a banking branch. Over the past five years, everything is done online. Everything is digital. So all of the infrastructure that would have went into building the physical banks a lot of those resources air now going into the new method or new model of consumption for financial um, you know, advice or different accounts products etcetera, which is digital. So with that, we need a lot more digital builders, thinkers, creators, eso There's this huge gap, and that's ultimately a big part of what brain stations inception was all about beyond building. So, you know, Web developers essentially and software engineers operating like the engineers and the physical space. But obviously, in the digital space, you have the user experience and user interface designers that are replicating architects, interior designers, you know, again with that physical parallel example, um, you have marketers that just have this digital lens you know less about billboards and radio ads and TV ads a lot more about data driven approaches using Google analytics and Google ads, Facebook ads, instagram ads, all this sort of stuff. So all of this has grown. I think the biggest category of growth that I've seen the past year is in the space of data on that. That's been a couple of years in particular, but I think data when it comes to our suite of educational products data is by far where we see the most learners and the most senior learners, and I think it's because data can apply across all businesses beyond the practitioner level as an executive myself included learning the ins and outs of how to use Advanced Excel. How to Use Sequel What about tableau? For visualizations? All these sorts of methods and software is, and and strategies that you can use to use a more data driven approach to go to implementing those strategies and creating those strategies from scratch. S. O. I would say the demand for digital skills, generally speaking, has drastically increased and will only increase more. This pandemic has led to a wider and faster adoption for those that may have never adopted digital in the past. Um, so there now online, A lot more consuming more on then. On top of that, I just think data in terms of our sweet or sweet of disciplines, I should say, is by far the fastest growing. And that includes Data analytics, data science, python programming, eyes kind of a skill. Thio utilize the different strategies. In the data side, cybersecurity is another one that's drastically growing again. More people living their lives online, consuming online people have never been so exposed online. So there are, you know, large swaths of cybersecurity professionals now being hired, and there is totally a, um, a shortage of of employees that have the necessary cybersecurity skills. That's a big gap that we're feeling right now as well.

What were the major exciting and memorable moments? Were there also any moments that almost got you to quit? How did you get past them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, Any entrepreneurial journey, regardless of what is showcased in block posts and interviews and things like that doesn't matter who you are. It's a bumpy ride. Eso is an entrepreneur there. There are several moments where you feel feel like your idea of success, and what this product is meant to bring to customers isn't a fit. And I think there are moments where, as we were getting brain station off of the ground and competing with some of those traditional competitors, New York University as an example, it just seemed like such an uphill battle, Uh, in order to compete with the incumbents in the education space, why would you take a risk with brain station when you could go with the sure thing from New York University? And I think there is definitely a period there where it wasn't even necessarily if brain station was going to be successful. But if the concept that brain station represented was going to be successful now when you see Anderson Cooper talking Thio, Professor Scott Galloway around is University worth it? Eyes college Worth it? You know, Master's PhD MBA, etcetera. The conversation very much so has shifted, but we were around before that conversation had hit the mass media. Let's call it in the general public. So when you are early, you are at risk of not having enough people even thinking about this concept that you've been a part of creating eso. There was definitely a few moments in there where it was just the adoption of the concept. And then, on top of that, the adoption of brain station, a za brand and the products in the various iterations of what our business looked like, um, exciting and memorable moments. I mean, the first course that that really took off in 2013 was a front end Web development course that was very exciting, getting a first class together. And we had existed in the events in community and workshop space for a year prior to that s O. To build that momentum, to validate that the brand and the idea was something that enough people were interested in. And what it looked like was about 20 people that were early adopters looking for exactly what we were pitching that came in the physical to come together and learn the ins and outs of Web development from industry practitioners. Um, we have now trained over 100,000 people in the past eight years. So in terms of the 1st 20 and then sitting over 100,000 trains now, I would say the 1st 20 was exceptionally exciting and those were the early adopters. But I think over the past couple of years, what has been exciting is the masses, the masses becoming aware of the advantage of this educational model. Ah, more outcomes oriented approach to learning and education, getting into technology and being where innovation is really happening. Um, and finding more people from the general public that weren't the early adopters, not quite the late adopters. But I will say the mass is starting to come to brain station. And seeing the profiles representing Chase and Morgan Stanley and all these more traditional organizations in our physical or digital classroom is just really, really neat. And then just seeing the maturity, uh, increasing in terms of the profiles that we're seeing in our digital and physical classrooms as well. Like I mentioned the 25% coming with the Masters or a PhD already eyes is pretty fantastic. And you know, the 1st 20 students or learners that we had definitely didn't look like that on. Both were different phases of the business. So I think you know, memorable moments. The 1st 20 students be pretty cool and also on boarding the industry expert instructors that anyone would be excited to learn with and getting them to say yes and helping us to build this infrastructure in which we trained 100,000 people off of.

Who were your competitors when you started and how did the competition evolve? How did you create a competitive advantage and a unique selling proposition?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, great question. So well, for a fast pace, paste education, business and education technology businesses Well on top of that, I think, are competitive. Landscape has drastically shifted over time and education and learning and professional development all kind of like molded in tow. One. It's just such a large space. So we have competitors that we we definitely compete with at the local level. I'll use New York is our core market way. Definitely are competing directly with y you know New York University without without a question. There are people that are choosing to go to brain station or N Y U. Depending on the subject matter that they're looking for on. I think the competitive landscape has shifted because eight years ago upon brain stations and deception, I think without this proven model in this new wave of technical training and this whole concept of a boot camp and industry, uh, driven and, you know, agile learning design and all this sort of stuff, I think New York University likely benefited from the unknown, unknown, unknown. We have yet to necessarily exists long enough for the general public to believe brain station would get the outcomes that they were desire ing. Then on top of that, there just wasn't this general awareness of what brain station was about. I think this pandemic has actually helped our general awareness or online learning. Um, student body has has drastically expanded exploded, if you will, over this past year. So I think in terms of the competitive landscape, locally, we would be competing with colleges like wine. You also more technical colleges in the general areas that we operate within, Um, there are others that play in the spaces. Well, eso general assembly is one that has has expanded also around the world. Andi, there are others like that at the specific discipline level. Shillington is another really interesting school that focuses just on design. Eso brain station kind of focuses on the entire digital product life cycle. Um, where is there are others in General assembly, you know, does the same. There are others. The only focus on one thing. Shillington. Just as design, Um, met us just as data products school just as digital product. Right? So I think there are those that compete directly with our entire suite on. Then there are those that compete directly on Lee with one of the discipline disciplines within our sweet. And then there are the traditional competitors, like New York University, um, that have a very different model and serve a different purpose, in my opinion. And we actually feed off of the graduates that are produced out of New York University again. Our our students and our learners. Ah, lot of them finish their bachelors or even master's or PhD before they came to brain station. So we see a lot of New York University graduates represented into our classes. But then there are also scenarios where they could go back to New York University to do a masters and data, and they choose to come into a a data boot camp of brain station because of their r A Y. Um, that's kind of the synchronous learning space. Then there's asynchronous where, whether we like it or not, we're of course, competing with you to me udacity MOOCs like coursera at X, um, even just anyone producing content for learning purposes on YouTube. You know Ted, for example, also speaking to a bunch of the subjects that were speaking to a no less direct way. But but really in the space of learning we're competing with with how are potential buyers, which is the entire world, utilize their time on? Do you can utilize your time in various ways. In a way, we're competing with Netflix, you know? Do you come back from your 9 to 5 and and turn on Netflix right away? Well, how could we get you into a course learning something with us? Right, So that's that's a very, uh, tertiary example of competition. It's so far removed. But I think in terms of multi decade long growth, we see ourselves competing with anyone that you choose to spend your time with. Andi. Obviously there is more direct or less direct, depending on who we're speaking to and what market we're speaking about.

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
yes. So I did commerce, um, and had a specialization. It was business management specialization in finance, and I think it very much so prepared me for parts of brain station. But not all of it, I think, is an entrepreneur, especially. You just need to experience it first hand. Um, there's there's certain amounts of preparation that you can have and then from there is just going to be Can you deal with what's in front of you on a day to day, hour to hour, minute by minute basis, and you never know what's going to come. So preparation is only going to take you. So far, the best parts of my college program was definitely the case studies getting into business examples. Learning from some of my favorite instructors or professors were actually evenings and weekends because they would come in after their 9 to 5. They would talk about the 250 million dollar, you know, business that they were helping to operate as a VP or a C suite and then incorporate those real world examples into the classroom. Eso I found those were the most engaging, memorable and definitely called to me as an entrepreneur. Also not necessarily knowing that I was going to be an entrepreneur. And I think some of those moments definitely pulled me in. Um, the programs in particular, how did they prepare me? Well, business can be applied to starting a business, of course. Eso everything from accounting thio, corporate finance, managerial accounting, marketing, What else? Business operations and strategy. There's so many different courses, and not all of it has applied throughout my my eat your journey with brain station going from a start up now to, ah, medium sized business and climbing. But the good thing is, we covered so much ground that every year I'm identifying other things that I learned through my my bashers that are now applying that that didn't for the first handful of years of brain station because we were too small. Then you get to a certain stage. It's like, Okay, I remember, you know, vaguely. Now it's been some time, but I do remember covering this subject in corporate finance and that never would have applied for the first five years of brain station to the same degree. But now read a sized where some of this is starting to come into play. So I think the most important advice that I give to college students is absorbed as much as you can. The reality is you can't possibly be perfectly prepared for whatever you're about to dio, and that's not just an entrepreneur. That's anything that's any of my peers from college that have gone on to be, um, investment bankers or accountants or whatever it may be, Um, but also don't take it for granted because where you may not see the practical nature right away if you've done a college program. Hopefully some of the learnings continued to tap in as you're 30 40 and even 50 heading into retirement because you don't know what your trajectory is going to look like. So absorb it all, even if you don't think it's overly practical for where you imagine yourself to be. You know, a year after graduation, five years after graduation, because ah, heck of a lot changes

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? If any, please also discuss your experiences facing adversity, or trying something unusual.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah, it's been a limited career. It's been a pretty fast paced career. Azzan, a young entrepreneur. So I think you're over a year. I have just tackled a lot more than headache on a more traditional path. Eso my career thus far the first decade of my career, Um, I would say, Believe in yourself. That's a really important one on bat comes into where you taught this in college. Have you experienced this? It doesn't matter. Are you willing to believe in yourself to figure it out? Be a problem solver? I think. Regardless of digital skills and technology at Brain Station, we really focus on learning how to learn, learning how to unlearn, relearn, unlearn all over again. Relearn this this constant on adaptive nature of where the world is now we need more problem solvers regardless of where you end up. So believe in yourself and believe in your capabilities to solve the problem and take the time, um, believe in others, I think is another really great one, I think is an entrepreneur you tend to, especially at the beginning, take all of the responsibility on yourself and in order to grow your team and this is speaking entrepreneurs out there, but also just anyone that ends up being a colleague, appear manager, director, owner or whatever it may be so any any tier of always believe in people's, uh, I don't know good nature, I would say. Always expect that that they are looking to do good in the world. If you approach it with the opposite, it's gonna hurt you. You may get let down, but that's much better than never allowing people in and never trusting and believing them. The final one. Mm, at least what I have found, And this is going to vary depending on you know who you interview and which students were speaking to. But I like to be where I'm uncomfortable, and I think that's pretty natural as an innovator and entrepreneur. But if I'm uncomfortable, I have found historically that's where the magic happens. But if I'm uncomfortable, of course, need to leverage the first two points, believe in myself and believe in others, or else I will always remain uncomfortable. We will never overcome whatever this challenges, but once you've been uncomfortable, ah, few times it becomes an addiction because you now start to believe in yourself and your team, even Mawr. And there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome. So those would be my three.

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Nov 17 2020
Yeah. So it's going to be so different depending on the student and your discipline, your background, I think as, Ah, general piece of advice. Figure out who your manager is going to be. I can't over emphasize this enough, I think. Especially that first manager, that first leader, that person is going to help to define your trajectory, and you could be the most brilliant, talented, hard working person. If you end up with a manager that doesn't believe in you and believe in other people, it doesn't matter. And unfortunately, you can't go back and re choose. So do your research when you're interviewing and even before you interview, really research the organization, their values and what you can expect from the manager that will be leading you in those early phases of your career and just like a sponge, soak it all up. Um, get in there, roll up the sleeves and and kind of like, Get your hands dirty is another one. I just think you have multiple decades in your career. The more that you can do the real work, the better and and early in your career is the right time to do it. because then, as you grow, if you're looking to grow in terms of management roles, leadership, whatever that may be, or as a specialist, advancing as an even better version of that specialist, I think doing it yourself gives you confidence, gives your team confidence. And then also, if you start to level up, you're able Thio mentor, coach, and lead people through unauthentic version of yourself, right? You know, because you did it first hand, you can provide direction, you know, the timelines, etcetera. So I I would say, especially early in your career. But even at this point a CEO of a multinational organization, I definitely embrace getting messy. Because if I'm there, I'm truly understanding what's needed to solve these problems, eh? So I would say that beyond your starting job, but definitely within your starting job, get in there and and get dirty because you're gonna figure out what are these actual problems that you, your team and your organization are solving all the way at the root