My semester at NYU

May 10, 2014 by Joshua
in Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership

With the semester finishing, I wanted to record what I did at NYU. My main goal was to help my students and give to the NYU community.

  • Taught Entrepreneurial Marketing and Sales. One of main roles NYU hired me for was to teach this elective for graduate students. Several students said it was the best course they took at NYU and I was their best instructor. More than half said they are continuing the projects they started in the course after it ends. At least one got a job offer from a class exercise. At least one got an internship in the process.
  • Coached and mentored graduate students, as part of Management of Technology program. This was my other main role NYU hired me for. Coaching and Mentoring is confidential so I can’t say much here.
  • Spoke at the Entrepreneurial Greenhouse, invited by the students running the program designed to address entrepreneurial issues not covered by the school’s curriculum. The main questions I heard were along these lines: “Josh, you talk about business and communication skills that would help us get jobs and advance in our careers. No classes offer anything like them. Are you going to teach them in a course?” I could only answer that I teach leadership independently and I’m not aware the school plans to offer such courses. I gave my NYU students free admission to those independent seminars.
  • Served as Faculty Advisor for the Special Interest Housing Floor for Entrepreneurship, an initiative to help foster entrepreneurship for undergraduates. We hosted several events, including visits from entrepreneurs, speaker panels, exercises, and more.
  • Served as Faculty Advisor for some NYU-Gallatin students. Gallatin lets students design their classes.
  • Led two seminars at NYU-Stern, both on how to lead people so they want you to lead them again. Both filled the rooms and got great reviews.
  • Hosted the non-profit GiveGetWin’s community event at NYU-Stern. GiveGetWin promotes entrepreneurship and leadership development. Speaking there led to my being invited to speak at Harvard.
  • Spoke on “Entrepreneurship and Leadership,” on a panel hosted by the NYU Entrepreneurship Network with four extremely well-qualified speakers.
  • Created the Women in Entrepreneurship panel, attended by about one hundred people. The event began when I asked the students on the entrepreneurship housing floor what programming they wanted and a few women said they wanted to meet role models who were women in entrepreneurship, followed by finding high supply of women in entrepreneurship interested in speaking and demand for them.
  • Organized Coco && Breezy talk. Attendees described the event as inspirational.
  • Starting a Non-Citizen Entrepreneurship panel, modeled on the Women in Entrepreneurship panel for entrepreneurially minded non-citizens to find role models who successfully started business in the U.S. without citizenship. I’ve found high demand for students who want to start companies but feel compelled to work in big companies that can sponsor their visas or go back home. I’ve already found support from many corporations and academic institutions besides NYU.
  • Found job offers, internships, and entrepreneurial projects for several students. What else is a teacher here for but to help his students achieve their goals?
  • Organized a job fair “field trip,” coordinating with the organizers of a job fair for start-ups to bring my students to practice entrepreneurial marketing and sales, in this case of their labor, and the skills the students at the Greenhouse said they wanted. We spent half a class preparing for the event, applying the skills we learned in class in a real-life chance to practice them. One student literally jumped up and down with joy having seen how using her new skills worked so much better than the skills she’d known before she couldn’t have imagined the success: companies that hadn’t listed needing what she was looking for offered her jobs based on what we worked on.

I worked outside of NYU too. In particular, I spoke at

  • Harvard
  • Columbia a couple times
  • NYU-Stern a few times

It looks like a lot when I post it all at once, but when you love what you do it doesn’t feel like work. Why else would you do something except if you feel passion for it (assuming you aren’t in dire straits) and if you have passion for it, why wouldn’t you do it as best you could? I coach my clients that way, I work that way, and I live that way.

The energy comes from the students anyway. Students engaging, learning, taking ownership, and running with their projects inspires me. I also enjoyed applying inquiry-driven project-based learning to a subject that thrives with it.

I look forward to building on this foundation of student achievement and learning!

Student evaluations

The student evaluations for my course—mostly 4.9s and 5.0s—ended up among the highest among the school’s hundreds of courses. Their qualitative notes were superlative too.

  • Greatest course I have taken in poly. Thanks for everything.”
  • “He is the best prof I have even seen in this school. I strongly recommend him to continue teaching this class for our engineering students. It is practical and really useful in our future career and social networking.”
  • “This is the best class I have ever taken in US. The prof is nice and the course is very useful. I hope I can take this class again”
  • “This is one of the best courses I had during my studies in poly. He teached us a lot of important and practical knowledge”
  • “The prof is excellent
  • “The structure of the course was very instructing and informative at the same time. Prof was very kind and answered all the queries. Feedbacks on assignments were given effectively. I enjoyed the class and the course totally.”

The emphasis was mine, but these were all the qualitative notes, no cherry-picking.

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