Category: All About Koinos

Giving Birth to a Startup

Like many mid-level career professionals may have also experienced, I had attended a significant number of networking events throughout my career and struggled with the transactional nature in nearly every conversation. I felt like the new acquaintances right in front of me were constantly sizing me up and I got really tired of being asked what I did for a living, oftentimes before even sharing my name. So, during my time in Cornell SC Johnson’s Metro NY Executive MBA program I was determined to breaking these networking norms. As I began the third term of my academic journey, I conceived an idea that would bring to life a new form of “connect-working.”

For the first trimester, I worked with a lean team of fellow EMBA students at Cornell to experiment on ways we could create better atmospheres for our networking events and reduce the negative stigma around networking in general. You see, every leading university typically has multiple MBA & EMBA programs, grabbing the attention of different types of customers that would benefit from the same core curriculum. For Cornell’s presence in NYC, there is a full time MBA, and three Executive programs known as the Americas, Metro NY and dual MS/MBA with Weill Cornell Medicine. For any given year there are typically 2 cohorts running simultaneously. One graduating this year and the other graduating next year. If you sum up all the NYC based students today, there are 300+ students graduating between 2020 and 2021.

Whilst I loved seeing my colleagues in the Metro NY Class of ’20 cohort on a bi-weekly basis, I wanted to know my fellow Big Red brethren and meet the other 230+ students in NYC. Besides, that’s one of the primary reasons why we were all here, to be part of the larger Cornell family. And since I was having a hard time meeting them on my own, I worked with a team of students across programs to coordinate small group dinner parties and happy hours for connecting all of our cohorts. I’ll never forget these days, working with all stars like Cassie Dai and Daniel Joo, as we coordinated events called “Dinner Paloozas.”

Steps to creating a Dinner Palooza, a simple connect-working framework:

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