2015 â€“ 2016
2 EXECUTIVE LETTERS 4 LA VIE IN PARIS 6 ITS NOT GOODBYE, IT’S ATÉ MAIS 8 HI-ART: FROM EQUITIES TO EMOJIS 12 CLASS FEATURE: SIV GHANA 16 VIET NGUYEN: MENTORING THE NEXT GENERATION 18 CHEERS TO M&A 20 MI CASA CUBANA 24 A START-UP START 25 WHAT NOT TO WEAR 26 9 ELECTIVES TO TAKE 28 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 30 MEET THE COMMITTEES 32 MEET THE EXECUTIVES
Executive Letter BETA ALPHA PSI
Dear Fellow BAP Members and Fellow Alumni,
It seems like only yesterday that I attended my first BAP Open House, but time has flown by. As outgoing President of BAP, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the new candidates and members who have joined us since then, as well as greet the returning alumni and soon-to-be graduates.
MATHEW ROY Outgoing President ▪ Class of 2016
When I first joined BAP, I expected to learn about recruiting and start building my professional network— but little else. However, it turned out that I found many of my closest friends through BAP, friends with whom I have shared my college years and experiences. My time at NYU has been marked by my work with BAP and also with the community I have found here. And I not only gained friends, but mentors who guided me through recruiting and who I can turn to even today.
These friends and mentors inspired me to become first a Candidate Master and then to run for President of BAP. After BAP had provided me with so much, I wanted to continue to foster the community and provide mentorship in turn. Becoming a Candidate Master gave me insight into how unique the candidate process is, and how important it is in bringing together an extremely diverse group of people and knitting them together into a single community. And my tenure as President has been heartwarming, as I see our legacy being passed down to those who come after us. I hope that, as President, I have been able to help BAP strengthen our ties while simultaneously expanding our community. We have grown our freshman mentorship program, helping more freshmen learn about BAP and participate in our events and training sessions; and we have also overhauled our online initiatives, launching our new redesigned website and vibrant marketing campaigns. And I would like to introduce to you all the second issue of The BAP Review, which I hope will continue to foster the community that is so often emphasized it may sound trite, but which is a living, breathing presence at Stern that I have grown to cherish, and which I hope you will too. All the best,
Executive Letter BETA ALPHA PSI
Dear Fellow BAP Members and Alumni,
Welcome to the second annual edition of The BAP Review. As the incoming president of the BAP Mu Chapter for Fall ’16 – Spring ‘17, I hope you enjoy this issue and share in BAP’s sense of leadership and community.
JACOB MOON Incoming President ▪ Class of 2017
I remember coming into Stern not even knowing what finance or accounting was, and no one would have guessed that one day I would become the president for a finance and accounting national honor society. But rest assured, I’ve learned a good amount over the years and definitely know what “apples to apples” means now.
All jokes aside, I couldn’t be more excited to be taking on this responsibility because I have witnessed firsthand the amount of value this organization can provide to all the incoming candidates. When I was crossing as a candidate back in Fall of 2014, I was a lost sophomore with not much to offer. But the executive board members, including Mari Xia and Frank Lu, took me under their wings to introduce me to other leaders like Mathew Roy, providing me with opportunities and all the resources needed to challenge myself and excel in various aspects of my college career. They had no reason to really invest in me, but they took their time and attention to develop me professionally, academically and socially.
I have come to admire their passion and dedication to this community and am glad that I was also given the opportunity to take ownership as well along the process. Working as a Candidate Master for our organization this year has been the most rewarding experience thus far, as I’ve gotten the chance to personally meet and mentor over seventy candidates each semester. At all the firm-wide events, each company always emphasized their “culture” and “the people.” I hate to echo them so closely, but what’s really made this whole process fun and enjoyable are the close friends I’ve made on the way. I am glad to have met the people in BAP and am excited to run the organization with some of my closest friends. In the year ahead, I am looking forward to working with all of our committees to continue achieving major milestones for BAP. We will continue to focus on the professional development of our candidates and members to increase BAP exposure and representation across the major firms. We are set to expand our industry coverage with initiatives such as the consulting case workshops to reflect the interests and focuses of the incoming underclassmen. And I hope that in reading The BAP Review, you will join us in the BAP community, celebrating our milestones with us and experiencing our diverse perspectives for yourself. All the best,
Jacob Moon 3
personally felt the system was disorganized and unpredictable. Brief course descriptions were available but syllabuses detailing grading, rubrics, and readings were rare. It was not rare for a grade to be completely dependent on one final exam. Class schedules were not regular as classes started and stopped anytime within the BY XIAOYING ZHAO semester. Lectures were a lot longer than I expected— classes often ran for more than three hours at a time and only once a week. They definitely required patience, coffee, and discipline to sit through. And these class sessions weren’t interactive seminars, but full-on lectures that were occasionally difficult to understand due to the ast semester, I studied abroad through IBEX at language barrier. However, the heavy blocks of classes HEC Paris, a business school located in the southern did make it easier to schedule traveling (I only had class suburbs of Paris, France. It was an extraordinarily three days a week). memorable experience—but not without its challenges, though. I hope that by sharing my experiences, those of On the other hand, I had access to classes and perspective you who are interested in studying abroad—particularly not common in the US. Wine Marketing was a popular in Paris—can get a small taste of what the experience was course (yes, we did get to do a wine tasting in class). I like, whether you’re still debating on going abroad or personally enjoyed Comparative American and European Politics, which gave me a lot of insight into how already set on your worldly adventures. America’s political system fares against others (a very relevant topic today). RECRUITING In my experience, recruiting from abroad is the concern that is first on every Stern student’s mind. Students are AND ARGUABLY THE BEST PART… only allowed to study abroad through IBEX during their Traveling is a must when studying abroad in Europe. The junior year. My personal perspective is that studying advantage of the Schengen Visa is that it allowed us to abroad junior year (through either IBEX or the NYU access all the EU countries (the UK is an exception, but Program) is possible with the correct mindset. First, the country allows many nationalities to enter for short decide what industry you plan to go into. If you’re doing visits without any additional visas). Flights and the Big Four or bulge bracket banks, I recommend accommodations are cheap, especially if you can organize studying abroad junior spring. (Keep in mind, however, and book your trip a couple weeks in advance. Almost all that the latter will mean missing Stern’s International tourist attractions have guides, salespeople, and ticket Studies Program.) According to the IBEX advisors, OCR sellers who are fluent in English (although the French will move all interviews to the fall next school year. seemed to be the least happy about using their English Studying abroad your junior spring allows you to first skills). finish recruiting. For those who have never been to Europe, it will be a
LA VIE L
However, every student’s situation is different. Accounting majors who recruit early may finish recruiting sophomore year. There have been students who recruited for banks in the summer before they left and interviewed through Skype while abroad. Studying at a foreign university is a popular topic of discussion in interviews, but actually obtaining the interview itself will take organization of deadlines, keeping in contact with your network, and reaching out to recruiters and professionals while abroad. CLASS SELECTION I found myself much more appreciative of NYU’s curricular system after studying abroad. HEC Paris is one of the most prestigious business schools in Europe, but I
sight to see. The United States has many architectural achievements of its own, but most were built in the last two centuries. Old castles and palaces are just not something we have access to. Food is always an exciting attraction (my personal favorite: Italy). Bonding between travel companions is a breeze. Overall, I gained an experience rich with growth, discovery, and adventure, and I felt lucky to be able to do so at a relatively young age. I know that IBEX is a bit intimidating because of the timing, and the program requires you to break from the comfort zone of NYU’s system and NYU’s student community. But be brave! Be courageous! Taking advantage of this opportunity is well worth your time.
n the span of four tiring days, Lisbon had managed to steal my heart. After finishing a busy week filled with midterms and other school-related obligations, it was nice to escape from the hecticness and enjoy Lisbon’s warm weather and laid-back vibes. The city is gorgeous, with many narrow alleyways, cute cafes, and historic spots to explore. The streets there are cobblestoned and surprisingly hilly--Lisbon definitely reminded me of San Francisco at times. The buildings there have intricately patterned or brightly colored walls, and yellow trams wind their ways through the streets. Portugal is a coastal country, so you can see the sea if you walk to a higher point in the city or go down to the waterfront.
Stern planned short events on each day that all the juniors had to attend. I personally found them to be quite interesting; they were definitely an improvement on just sitting in a room listening to someone talk about the city, which--according to my professor--is something that the school did in the past. My peers and I spent one morning exploring some of Lisbon’s shops for a local market immersion experience. We had the opportunity to visit a variety of stores, from the delicious Santini gelateria to the quaint Confeitaria Nacional bakery, and learn about
how businesses were run locally. We spent another morning visiting the companies for our project. It was cool to hear from the CEO of my class’s assigned company, and to ask him and other key members of management our questions about the company.
We had a lot of free time to explore the city as well. My friends and I often took the metro to downtown Lisbon, then walked to different parts of the city. We conducted some serious market research by trying out pasteis de natas (the Portuguese egg tarts!) from different spots in the city, and concluded that the famed Pasteis de Belem was completely worth the hype. There’s a lot of delicious food to taste in Lisbon, especially if you’re a seafood lover. One thing I enjoyed trying was ginjinha, which is a Portuguese liqueur made from ginja berries; shops there often serve it in little shot glasses made out of chocolate! During the night, the city is much more peaceful than it is back here in the city; it felt so relaxing to just grab a later dinner with friends and stroll through the empty streets. I definitely have fond memories of Lisbon, and would love to return some day!
BY GARY CHEN
A CONVERSATION WITH
What got you interested in How did your skills transfer when going from banking to finance at first? startup? There was a huge pressure to go to Wall Street from college 6+ years ago. It was a high-paying field, and taught a bunch of different skills. Selling from watching senior bankers, making presentations, making financial models. It’s always great to work with really smart, ambitious people, and I had the optionality to do almost anything afterwards.
Why did you end up leaving banking?
BRIAN LEDERMAN CO–FOUNDER
i-Art is a mobile application that allows users to search, download, sort and send content for messaging. They are building the first open ecosystem for emoji, stickers, and gifs. Users browse a “Featured Sticker Library,” containing emoji, stickers and gifs from some of today's most influential artists, musicians and celebrities, including Jason Derulo / Warner Brothers, Ghostface Killah, and Todd James. Brian Lederman is a co-founder of Hi-Art and a former investment banker. He studied economics at Cornell University and worked for Barclays before deciding to enter the startup world.
I wanted to do something more meaningful—when I was young I wanted to be able to try a completely different career path, and I realized when I was younger that I had always been interested in entrepreneurship. I was in a startup club in college, and I decided that I would start coding. I started coding in my last year in banking, and did a few paid projects for angels in the NY tech scene. I felt like it was much more fun than banking. I also got a little bored of building financial models – after I built a few it felt repetitive, that I was doing the same thing over and over and just changing small assumptions.
How did you get in touch with those angels in the NY tech scene? A college friend’s ex-boyfriend was one of the angels, he helped introduce me to a lot of people in the tech scene. And there’s all these blogs right now on how to transition from finance to tech—reading some of the blogs from people in the NY tech scene was helpful.
We make investor presentations, marketing presentations, expense or burn models, we’ve built cash flow models which … have not performed as expected. In my third year in banking, I went to some client meetings and started presenting. That helped a little bit when now I’m going to one-on-one business meetings with VCs and brands. A lot of my colleagues in my analyst class from banking are in tech and are pursuing entrepreneurship. I still keep in touch with them and [we] pick each other’s brains often enough.
Where is the rest of your analyst class right now? A vast majority are at hedge funds and private equity, or doing corporate finance for a public company. A lower percentage go to startups.
Would you ever consider going to business school?
It’s not as well respected in the startup would – I would still consider it if I went back into finance. It would give my career another 2 years of “work experience” while I start a company, and I’d meet a lot of people. I do think in general Bschool is a better transitionary period if I were to do something else rather than stay in the same kind of role.
Ever thought about venture capital? I might—I don’t know if I could handle the networking and sourcing component. I’d rather not have meetings all day, but I guess you get
to a point where you’re a business exec doing that same thing anyway.
Do you do much sourcing?
Brands definitely. We’d cold-call big brands, celebrities, and influencers. It’s hard and humbling—a good experience to do pure cold calling if you’ve never done it.
How was doing another job during banking as an analyst?
content out of these things. We thought they were fun and were using them so much.
Are you glad you did banking before tech? Or would you recommend jumping right in to the startup world?
It’s a hard question, depends on what the person wants. If you’re into the startup scene, go for it. I think if I knew I wanted to start a company as a freshman or sophomore in college, I would just start coding and build stuff instead. On the contrary, it was nice to work for a few years, build up some savings and pay off my college loans. Startups cost a lot of money – sometimes you’ll have to invest personally and not get
“Startups cost a lot of money – sometimes you’ll have to invest personally and not get paid for some time.”
I actually quit banking with the intention of starting a company. I was going to start a yogurt company, but Sabra did exactly what I was thinking of.
It was super hard… wherever you are at the moment, you want senior bankers to respect you and think you’re doing really high-quality work so that in the future they can vouch for you. At the same time, helping people at startups, you’ve got to make sure you’re doing a good job for them.
I wouldn’t have too much time for them, I’d do a financial model for one company, a sales campaign for another, a marketing campaign for another. A lot of managing expectations.
Did Barclays let you do that?
part of tech. Because you can make a mistake and you don’t need to raise a lot of money to do it. And you have a lot of user segments that you’re a part of and you can iterate more quickly. I don’t know if I’d do another consumer-tech company where we care about user growth over revenue at first.
It was under the table, actually free because I was learning a lot. If I were in college it’s a great time to start a company, specifically it’s a great time to experiment in consumer tech, which is the riskiest
How did you find out about Hi-Art? I just kind of met Nico, he was looking at a couple of ideas. Bob, same thing. So we just decided on stickers together. I think it really excited me because I saw a huge potential in 2013; no chat app, including Facebook, had added stickers. But they were big in Asia, more specifically Japan, and Line was making a couple hundred million dollars on these things, and we just got excited about the opportunity to make branded
paid for some time, which is nice for a student when you don’t have to worry about the opportunity cost of working, but is a burden later on.
on weekends, learn this stuff, and work way harder than everyone else. Also make sure you take a step back, and make sure you’re doing banking for the right reasons.
disguised because you don’t have to dress in suits and you can work from home, but it’s the same thing. Burnout’s a little less, but it’s the same thing, it’s still there. And the happiness is probably comparable.
Everything you take for granted at a huge company is so important. Hiring is so hard, because you really can’t offer market salaries as a startup, so you have to sell people on the future and the ability of your company to scale. And then any sort of expense at a startup is so much more meaningful than at a big company. Like lawyers and accountants.
most. As for the least: Doing superfluous stuff that is probably not going to make it into a final presentation or is going to be talked about by my bosses. And there’s a lot of that. Now that I’m on the other side now, a lot of the time people don’t even go through the presentation, they don’t even use it even though I brought a presentation. So it’s a weird thing.
What’s your opinion of the new accelerated recruiting What are some of the biggest process? challenges of being at a What do you miss most and least about banking? It’s insane people are stepping into startup as opposed to a huge that ground – horrible for people’s company? I would miss the compensation the well-being. I have a friend who’s making a movie about it (actually it should screen at NYU). There’s this huge pressure to go to Wall Street and make money at the cost of learning, studying abroad, building things, taking liberal arts classes, figuring out what you want to do – which all can have significant benefits in the future. What makes you happy, and what you’re passionate about are all very important. In high school you have no idea, and then in college you also have no idea, so it just puts more pressure on these students to do something that maybe they don’t even want to do. It probably just means burnout’s going to be higher, right?
Any advice for summer and full-time analysts?
Work as hard as you can to secure the next step. You need your bosses to like you – even though you’re learning a lot, first impressions are so important, and if senior bankers don’t like you in the first period, they’re not going to like you later on. I was an Econ major, a course away from double majoring in math. I almost never used Excel in college, so I was way behind the average person in my banking class. I would go in
It’s weird to make less money than you were a few years ago, because you chose a different path that leads to more happiness. But startups are so hard, and more than 90% fail, so you’ve got to make sure you’re doing it because you really want to, and because it’s meaningful to you.
In some sense you can objectively look at it as tech entrepreneurship and finance on the same level. It’s just people working very hard, wanting to make a lot of money, and why do they want to make a lot of money? I don’t know. In Silicon Valley, programmers are working just like bankers, hundred-hour weeks. It’s a little
Would you be interested in being contacted by anyone with questions about VC? You can definitely put down my email: email@example.com
One networking thing that really surprises me is that, as a banker, going to an info session where I’m presenting on behalf of Barclays, I’m meeting all these people who stay late to talk to me so that I remember them, so that I help them. Then I give them my business card and email and like only percent actually email me. So I do encourage people to network and reach out, it’s a very valuable strategy wherever you 13 go.
CLASS FEATURE BY WICY WANG
t was 4 a.m. and as we looked up we could see a night sky splattered with stars. We traced constellations and followed the winding path of the Milky Way—so far from cities and light pollution, each star was a pinprick crystal-clear. Then, drowsy and only half-awake, we boarded the bus that would take us to Kumasi, Ghana. I was on a volunteering trip along with the rest of my classmates; we were taking an elective called Stern International Volunteers: Ghana. The class, which is only offered in the spring in order to align with travel dates during the summer, had a travel component that was located in—you guessed it—Ghana. I had never considered volunteering abroad before; but, having been persuaded by both my professor and my friend,
here I was in a foreign country, miles from any form of cell service.
In class we had discussed Ghanaian history and government as well as its current political and socioeconomic issues; seeing Ghana up close was something else entirely. We started out our trip in Accra, under the benevolent eyes of two NYU Accra staff members who watched over us with a mixture of exasperation and amusement. Professors Rachel Kowal and Hans Taparia also joined us on the trip, providing both parental guidance and professorial illumination. In Accra, we first went on a frenetic tour of the city, stopping at major landmarks for blink-of-an-eye pit stops before being hustled back onto our bus and zooming away. The next few days saw a more immersive experience; we toured the factory of
Blue Skies, a juice company, and spent an afternoon at a local school with the children. But then we headed off to the main part of our trip, a visit to the remote village of Woadze Tsatoe. Woadze Tsatoe lies in the Volta region of Ghana, further inland from Accra and definitely less privy to the capital city’s privileges. The brightcolored village was composed of sand-colored huts, screened from a nearby river by a thicket of trees and small plots of crops. Over the next few days, the villagers would show us how they fished, rising early rowing out in the early pre-dawn hours; how they harvested cassava, pulling up the shrubs to find the roots; how they made their typical meals, stirring their pots over open-air fires. But they also showed us their small dirt-floored school, with tin roofing
that only covered half the school; the other half had only thatched roofing that couldn’t keep out the rain, meaning that that classes were canceled in any kind of inclement weather. The school taught up to the fifth grade; older children were sent to a middle school that was an hour’s walk away—no wonder, then, that many dropped out to work and stopped going to school altogether.
The village elders had realized that education was the key to developing their small community, and had applied for help from Adanu, a Ghanaian non-profit organization that builds schools in rural Ghana. And that is where NYU Stern comes in; Adanu touts a particular mix of “voluntourism,” where volunteers contribute both money and
volunteering, and Adanu provides a tourism experience as well. Volunteers could see exactly how their money was being applied as they worked alongside the villagers themselves.
Meanwhile, Adanu provided for accountability, by vetting the recipients of the donations. Villages that apply for aid from Adanu must specify exactly what they wished to receive, as well as articulate how they would use the donation and how they would benefit from it. Our class’s contributions helped the villagers of Woadze Tsatoe build a latrine, to prepare for the school that would come. Although Adanu had brought in skilled workers and masons to build the latrine, everyone
was encouraged to take part in its construction—volunteers from our class as well as villagers who brought water and provided labor as well. In this way, Adanu tried to knit everyone together through the volunteer project.
The phenomenon of volunteerism has spread in recent years, as young college students—more often than not Western students from privileged backgrounds—shoulder their heavy backpacks and march into developing countries to “do good.” A specific subset that has emerged is “voluntourism,” which is often criticized—legitimately so—for being a means to padding a résumé, for the limited benefits it leaves behind, for exoticizing and even romanticizing the poverty of foreign
countries. I often caught myself thinking, as I looked out at the village of Woadze Tsatoe from the comfort of my air-conditioned bus seat, eating my Western processed-and-packaged food, how little right I had to be there. But even so, I found myself liking Adanu’s model; I could see the specific problem that we tackled and, most importantly, I could see the specific solution being built before my eyes. It heartened me that the villagers of Woadze Tsatoe had requested this aid for themselves; they, and Adanu, knew exactly what they wanted.
And what I most appreciated was that we saw other models of aid as well. After we had left Woadze Tsatoe, we visited the Millennium Villages site of Bonsaaso, Ghana. The Millennium Villages project had been started by the Earth Institute, which had boldly claimed that the project would provide an allencompassing model to ending extreme poverty, by pouring aid into a few chosen villages that would supposedly meet the UN’s
Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Yet the project had dragged on over its expected time frame; reports were edited to retract data that had not been calculated consistently; and 2015 has come and gone, with another extension requested by the project.
As we tried to reach the site we drove in a convoy of jeeps through long, winding, dust-filled roads; the dust, caused from the strip-mining in the area that had bankrupted local farmers, rose from the ground like smog and blocked our view as it pressed on the windshield like billowing smoke. The village of Bonsaaso itself was littered with abandoned construction sites. Its facilities, although greatly improved than those of Woadze Tsatoe, seemed underwhelming for the amount of aid that had flowed through. It seemed that Bonsaaso was an example of the obvious—that airlifting monetary aid into a region or a village was inefficient, and also simply not enough.
Throughout the class—and the trip—I enjoyed myself and really had fun. We visited the canopy walk of Kakum National Park; we tried palm wine in a bonfire by the beach. But what I will never forget are the important questions that the trip raised for me, questions that I don’t think anyone truly knows the answer to. What forms of aid would hold everyone accountable—the donors and recipients? How could we determine who needed aid or who didn’t? What was the best way to volunteer? And finally … was aid even necessary? Were we imposing our own values and systems onto people who neither needed nor wanted them? I recommend this class to all of this magazine’s readers—whatever your thoughts about voluntourism. There is nothing quite like visiting another country, nothing quite like seeing your old world deconstructed and built again in a new light.
n the top floor of a Manhattan apartment building, Viet Nguyen reclines in a chic metallic armchair. My gaze is drawn to the panoramic view of Manhattan’s skyline behind. “Your mentees will all be invited here for lunch?” I asked a little incredulously. Viet, a passionate food enthusiast, smiles and wonders aloud about what he’s going to feed the mentees.
Viet is one of the many alumni mentors who have offered their time to guide current undergraduates in BAP. For a person with a busy schedule, he is surprisingly adamant about contributing to the mentorship program. When I ask him what made him decide to commit to helping us BAP Littles, Viet responds that “The alumni are the lifeblood of BAP.” It is with this sense of purpose that he spends so much of his free time on mentoring younger BAP members.
For Viet, this is a great way to stay in contact with his BAP friends from college while helping the organization that he has benefited so much from. From his first analyst role at Goldman Sachs to his current role as Principal of Riverstone Holdings today, Viet credits it all to the mentorship he received from the leaders and alumni of BAP that helped him navigate his career after he graduated Stern almost a decade ago. One of the most important skills that Viet learned to focus on from his mentors when he was in BAP was the development of “people skills.” As Viet describes it, people skills are all about making that personal
connection. Even today, these skills remain incredibly important for him. But that personal connection can only be achieved through sincerity. And that means making these people skills a way of life rather than a mask that is worn only on occasion. Some weeks ago, Viet chanced upon a great Japanese restaurant while out with friends. Out of curiosity, he asked to speak with the chef and learned a great deal from that conversation. Intrigued by what he discovered, he made an effort to jot down the chef’s name and the new information he had heard. A week later, he went back to that restaurant and again asked for the same chef by name. At that time, the chef could only vaguely remember Viet and was very pleasantly surprised that Viet still remembered their conversation from weeks ago. By his third visit to that restaurant though, Viet and the chef had become good friends. Today, Viet still enjoys the best food recommendations and reservation privileges at that restaurant.
Networking should be about making personal connections and genuine friends—that is the advice that Viet has for every aspiring business student. Don’t think of networking tips as tools in a handbook because that is an approach which would come across as extremely insincere. In fact, Viet shies away from the word “networking” altogether. To him, each interaction with people around him at work or otherwise is no different. He is always his friendly and approachable self.
I ask Viet what he thinks of the criticism that BAP is too large an organization for members to form close relationships. He pauses for a moment before explaining: “But BAP’s strength comes from our size!” While Viet acknowledges that the size of our organization can make it difficult for each member to share a personal relationship, that very size translates into the immense diversity of our alumni. With a current class size of about 200 members each year, a quick back-of-theenvelope calculation easily confirms this. BAP could easily fill an auditorium with alumni just by inviting a few classes of recent graduates! These alumni span the full gamut of business professions, from consulting to finance and accounting and beyond.
This means that BAP members like us get access to a diverse group of alumni who are all willing to share their wealth of experiences with us. Regardless of our chosen career paths, there will almost certainly be someone whom we can speak to. The key is to make an effort to interact with alumni at BAP events to find the right person to seek advice from. “What you put into BAP is what you will get out of BAP,” Viet reminds me with a smile.
Viet Q. Nguyen, class of 2008, is currently working as a Principal at Riverstone, the world’s largest energy-focused private equity firm. He is also an Alumni Mentor at BAP. He was President of BAP for the 2007-2008 year.
BY RONI CHAMBERS
AN OVERVIEW OF AB INBEV’S ACQUISITION OF SABMILLER
t does not take a genius to understand the popularity of beer in the United States. Any college student, Super Bowl viewer, or leathered beachside retiree can testify to the beverage’s popularity. That said, too much alcohol spoils any party, and AB InBev knows this fact all too well.
For years, AB InBev has acted, well … kind of drunk. After so long in the U.S. market, the industry giant had begun to slow, tripping over its own feet in its home market. Growth rates decreased in 2015 as the company attempted to sell its story to a market that had heard the same spiel a thousand times before. Point blank, AB InBev was oversaturated in the U.S. market. The beverage behemoth stood victim to an industry-wide epidemic of stagnance in developed markets. But rather than wait for an intervention from the firm’s major shareholders, the company chose to act proactively. With minimal room to grow in the U.S. market, AB InBev needed to increase its international presence. SABMiller stood directly in AB InBev’s line of vision. Sixty-eight percent of SABMiller’s revenue stems from countries in Latin America and Africa. Where SABMiller distributes, the firm usually holds the top first spot for market share. This strong global presence instantly made the deal
love at first sight for AB InBev, which worked diligently to woo SABMiller.
In acquiring SABMiller, AB InBev knew that it would create something bigger than the both of them as the “first truly global beer brand.” Apart from global reach, the acquisition created synergies that proved lucrative for both parties. Decreased administrative costs in addition to a reduction in procurement, engineering, and distribution costs made the deal appealing for SABMiller.
However, love comes at a cost. AB InBev had to make several offers for SABMiller before the two beer titans finally agreed on a transaction valued at $107.9 billion in October of 2015. A month-long courtship process between the two companies involved significant deal-structuring finesse. SABMiller consists of two large shareholders in addition to a 59.5% freefloat. The deal remained subject to the approval of tobacco giant Altria and the Santo Domingo family’s Bevco. Due to these large stakes in SABMiller, AB InBev had to jump through yet another hurdle in appeasing these two parties.
AB InBev put up a valiant fight. In addition to a cash consideration, AB InBev also offered a partial-share alternative to Altria and Bevco.
Evidently, AB InBev could not afford an all-cash transaction, as this would strain their balance sheet, but conditions under the partial-share alternative proved profitable for Altria and Bevco. As a tobacco company, Altria has high interest in maintaining a diversified portfolio in the beer industry to mitigate risk. For each SABMiller share, Altria and Bevco will receive 0.484 restricted shares in the new company and £3.78 in cash. The higher dividend yield was also alluring to Bevco, as AB InBev offered 4% to SABMiller’s 3%. Currently, AB InBev remains caught in a balancing act. The company must appease its own shareholders, maintain an attractive deal for SABMiller, the Santo Domingo family, and Altria, all while avoiding antitrust regulation. In an attempt to charm antitrust regulators, AB InBev announced divestitures of certain companies. These include Grolsch, Peroni Brands, SABMiller’s stake in U.S. joint-venture MillerCoors LLC, CR Snow, amongst other companies.
Unfortunately, AB InBev’s courtship process is far from over. With Altria, Bevco, and the rest of SABMiller finally on board, the beer behemoth must now enchant antitrust regulators as the deal pends approval.
BY JESSICA CHAN
or many, Cuba still bears the reputation of being a decidedly hostile and communist thorn in the side of the United States; the island off the coast of Florida is still an unwelcome reminder of historical blunders, bloody skirmishes, and ideological differences. Following Fidel Castro’s rise to power in 1959 and the ensuing deterioration of its diplomatic ties with the U.S., Cuba – once one of the wealthiest Latin American nations – has been left trailing in the dust as the rest of the world surges ahead. Yet even as locals bemoan the economic standstill caused by relentless trade embargoes, legions of tourists swarm Cuban cities, seeking the involuntary ‘old world charm’ that those very same trade restrictions have created. The fact remains that Cuba’s antiquated settings and isolationism are its main attractions – they connote something forgotten, forbidden and untouched, the very fodder that tourism feeds on.
A tourist myself, I scarcely knew what to expect from Cuba. Hailing from Southeast Asia, I had envisaged a level of development akin to that of Vietnam or rural Thailand, but I was wrong. Stepping off the plane in Havana, Cuba’s capital, my traveling companion and I were warmly greeted by our casa owner, Lianet. It was only as we attempted to make simple conversation with him that we began to experience the full gravity of a language barrier that would persist throughout our trip.
Shophouses in Central Havana on a rainy afternoon. His flowing cadences of Spanish were met with our halting replies in English and it was almost ironic that “Cola” was the first word of shared understanding that we stumbled upon, a testament to the increasing consumerism of Cuban culture.
As Lianet drove us towards our casa along the Malecon 1 in the dying light of the day, we laid eyes upon Havana for the first time. As the city stretched out before us, my first thought was that Havana had never made it out of the 1950s. Large swatches of dilapidated buildings lined the streets of Central Havana, some occupied despite their crumbling facades, but many derelict and empty. Yet despite the weathered appearances of Havana’s shophouses and courtyards, traces of colonial and neoclassical architecture were still apparent, hinting at the grandeur that could be easily restored, if only there were a budget for it. Vintage cars, many painted in bright, flashy colors, peppered the streets, and we were hardpressed to spot a single post-millennium car model. Yet, in spite of its timeworn façade, it was hard not to be enamored by the pastel hues of Havana’s buildings, not to romanticize its unfiltered decay, not to succumb to the charm of a city that is anything if not authentic in how it presents itself. Hailing from Singapore, where tourist attractions are constantly being constructed to be bigger! better! more modern and obnoxious than the next! I was appreciative of the largely unpretentious nature of Havana as a travel destination. Within Havana, there are several key attractions that every tourist hits up. First, the obligatory vintage convertible car tour through the city. For the equivalent of 30 USD/hour, you can commandeer a 1950s vintage car for all your sightseeing and selfie needs. Granted, this is an undeniable tourist trap, but it does give you an 1 The Malecon (officially Avenida de Maceo) is a broad esplanade, roadway and seawall which stretches for eight
km (5 miles) along the coast in Havana, Cuba. 2 Google “Marina Bay Sands”, “Esplanade”, “Gardens by the Bay”, “Singapore Flyer” for some context as to the author’s personal biases.
Caramel Flan (for only 0.50 CUC!) at Café Mina arguably good spatial understanding of the city as you whiz through neighborhoods that you are otherwise unlikely to venture into.
Second, stroll through the cobblestoned streets of Old Havana, mojito in hand. (As a side note: Have I mentioned that Cuban cocktails typically cost 1 CUC 3? Or that rum is actually cheaper than bottled water in Cuba … and that the concept of a “socially acceptable drinking time” doesn’t seem to apply there?) Old Havana is undoubtedly the center of all tourist activity in the city, with numerous al fresco dining options, coffee shops serving killer cortaditos, independent art galleries and colonial buildings centered around sprawling plazas. With no lack of sights to see, Old Havana is an easy way to spend an afternoon. My personal recommendation? Check out the Centro Wilfredo Lam Museum and Art Gallery before hitting up Café Mina at Plaza de San Francisco de Asis for some incredibly tasty caramel flan! While you’re at it, pick up a copy of The Old Man and the Sea from one of the many makeshift bookstores that line Old Havana’s plazas – you are in the land of Hemingway after all. Third, visit the Museo de la Revolucion for an array of exhibits detailing Cuba’s Revolution as told from the incumbent Communist Party’s point of view. The museum is housed in what formerly served as Cuba’s Presidential Palace, and – albeit poorly maintained – is steeped in history and conflict. Sprays of bullet holes line its marble walls, a sobering reminder of the numerous coups and lives that were lost in the process. Instead, it is felt most strongly in the way your casa owner proudly presents his computer, a monolith of a monitor that runs on Windows 1998, which boasts dial-up internet access. Why the undue pride? Because personal home 3 CUC stands for Cuban Convertible Peso. It is one of the two currencies used in Cuba, and is used primarily by
tourists. The exchange rate between USD and CUC is 0.87 to 1.00 – so yes, the CUC is actually a stronger currency than the USD. The other currency is the Cuban National Peso, which is used mostly by locals and largely negligible for tourists. The exchange rate between Cuba’s currencies is 24 national pesos to 1 CUC.
Never pass up the chance to indulge in a Cuban cortadito!
Inside a home in Vinales; the home owner was making us mojitos with freshly picked mint leaves as his three-year-old son rocked it out to Spanish songs.
Disco Ayala in Trinidad; the club was just beginning to fill.
The colorful houses and cobblestone streets of Trinidad.
computers were only legalized in 2008 and till this day, internet connections in private homes, no matter how rudimentary, remain illegal. The full extent of Cuba’s communist regime will hit you once again as you step into a rations center, a facility where most Cubans use government-issued coupons to purchase their daily necessities. The day I visited, they had run out of eggs. I remember turning from the bare shelves to the local who had brought me there, a poorly concealed look of astonishment on my face. He chuckled and shrugged his shoulders while flipping haplessly through his book of coupons. I ended up slipping 5 CUC into his hands before leaving, all the while contemplating the utter failure of an ideology that had at one point so strongly rivalled capitalism. The fact remains that Cuban citizens have borne the brunt of a poorly-executed doctrine, its effects a punishing presence in their everyday lives. With whispers of Fidel Castro’s4 ailing health and plans for liberalization in the wake of his demise, one can only hope that Cuba eventually develops a new political and economic paradigm that truly represents the best interests of its citizens. To the extent that Cuba is a country encumbered by its past, it is this very historical burden that serves to accentuate the beauty – of its people, culture and landscape – that remains. Travel four hours out of Havana to Viñales and this beauty becomes even more apparent. Viñales is nestled in the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its outstanding karst landscape and traditional agriculture. A popular tourist destination within Cuba, most travelers end up visiting its renowned caves, Cueva del Indio and Santo Tomas, in search of unique stalagmite and stalactite formations. Another key feature of the Viñales Valley? Its numerous tobacco plantations that allow you to purchase those famed Cuba hand-rolled cigars straight from its source. To the avid cigar fan, Viñales is the place for you. My favorite memory from Viñales though? The unrivalled hospitality of our casa owners,
4 Fidel Castro is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who governed the Republic of Cuba as
Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. 5 Karst topography is a landscape formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks like limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. Characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes & caves.
Minerva and Pedro, who showed me that for all the careless words spewed by people to express their care for each other, nothing really speaks louder than ten different types of fruit, freshly picked at dawn, laid out lovingly for you every morning. There are words that transcend language barriers. And then there are actions that completely shatter them. Our brief stay in the strawthatched hut on their farm was nothing short of a humbling and grounding experience that I would relive over, and over, and over again. The last stop of my Cuban adventure was Trinidad, a quaint town of cobblestoned streets and colorful houses, where horse-drawn carriages remain a legitimate form of transportation. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a fair share of dining establishments, lodging, bars and trinket shops that have sprung up to cater to the burgeoning tourist population. Slightly reminiscent of Old Havana in its old world charm, the best way to explore Trinidad is by foot. Wander down Trinidad’s quiet streets, people-watch in its squares, venture to one of its many rooftop bars to catch the sunset… The key to experiencing Trinidad, as with most of Cuba, is simply to go with the flow and soak it in as you do. For those night owls, Disco Ayala, located just outside of Trinidad’s city center, offers a clubbing experience like no other. Situated within a cave, Disco Ayala presents individuals with the opportunity to revel in all
the amenities of a modern club within the confines of a granite cavern. Far from feeling cramped, the club’s swooping granite ceilings and expanse of space will put those claustrophobic instincts to rest. For those who are disinclined towards clubbing, head over to the Casa de la Musica, a watering hole favored by both locals and tourists alike. Once there, sit back on the steps overlooking the plaza, requisite rum-based cocktail in hand, and enjoy the live music and fervent salsa dancers that fill the square as the sun dips below the horizon. If anything, Trinidad is a most pleasant town, and it proved to be a pleasant way to end off my inaugural trip to Cuba. It may not be apparent, but there exists a significant time lag between the drafting of this personal expository of Cuba and my actual trip there. In the time between both events, many have asked me about my travel experience. I have failed in adequately describing it, every single time. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from travelling, it’s that the experience is entirely what you make of it. Hence, I hereby urge all who are interested in traveling to Cuba to dismantle their preconceived notions of what it should or could be, and to embrace the bundle of idiosyncrasies that it really is – I promise, you will not be disappointed.
was a lost soul my freshman year of college. It was the transition to college, this change into the unknown, that threw me off course. I had no idea what I wanted to study, blindly taking required core classes and stumbling into numerous club meetings that quickly lost their appeal. Come March, others all around me were starting to discuss internships, whether they should apply for an introductory program at this wellknown corporation or another, so as to get a head-start in whichever business-related field they wanted to pursue. Everything suddenly felt too soon and confining. At that point in time, all I knew was that if I planned to spend the rest of my life in an analytics-related field in a heavilycorporate environment, I wanted to do something vastly different for the summer.
This exploration led to my first internship as a marketing intern at a start-up. Before this experience, I had never imagined myself as someone who would have worked in marketing or at a start-up. I wasn’t particularly great at targeting or persuading people, and didn’t have the technological skills to make meaningful, impactful contributions 24
at a burgeoning business. But despite my lack of qualifications and potentially awkward-freshman interviews, the company and its people took a chance on me.
Looking back, that summer was a tremendous learning experience. Being in such close quarters at a small company (there were 5-6 of us total that summer) gave me greater exposure to the business, which I would not have had at a larger morestructured, corporate firm. Through my involvement in numerous marketing projects, I created a consistent brand image on different channels, prepared blog and social media content, and organized marketing events. I listened in on key marketing decisions, and communicated with a variety of professionals, from our warehouse manager, to tech developers and social media consultants. There was so much going on and so few people that major events were literally all hands-on-deck. But it was also such an adrenaline rush to be a part of something small, exciting, and new. As the summer drew to a close and I transitioned from being a full-time summer intern to a part-time fall intern, I took on a more behind-the-
scenes operations role. I helped to manage the company’s backend, customer service, and warehouse interactions, while still keeping in touch and helping out with the active front-end, social media and content components when needed. It was interesting to see the marketing direction change over time, in response to the way people, preferences, and trends change. Even as I moved onto other things in other areas of my life—traveling abroad for a semester, taking a full-time summer internship the next summer at a different company, resuming classes again in the fall—the lessons learned and the connections remained constant in my life. This first internship taught me more than I could ever thank everyone at the company for: how to handle crises and duties, how to achieve a work-life balance I thought only real adults had to worry about. It also opened the door to other opportunities. Getting to dabble in and help out with other start-ups and partake in the craziness behind-thescenes eventually paved way to smooth sailings as the new product launches, gathers momentum, and scores multiple home-runs.
to Wear BY SUSAN LIU
GUIDE TO BUSINESS FORMAL
opefully everyone remembers that one Friday networking workshop on appropriate business attire, but in case you unfortunately happened to miss out or need a refresher, here’s a convenient cheat sheet to avoid embarrassing yourself at your next networking event, interview, or internship. Try to avoid wearing black with brown or black with navy. Make sure your clothes fit you well – in general, the fit matters much more than the brand. Keep it tame – avoid wearing outlandish patterns, overbearing colors, and over-the-top hair colors and styles. Subtle patterns are okay.
MM.LaFleur: an e-commerce and styling service that offers conservative but well-designed outfits. Ministry of Supply: high-tech “performance menswear” founded by MIT students.
For the gentlemen …
Try wearing a dark grey or navy suit, a white or light blue button-up shirt, and a neutral tie. Avoid plaid, bowties, pocket squares, square-toed shoes, and cufflinks. Your tie should hit the middle of the belt buckle. Avoid skinny ties. Avoid red ties, as red typically signifies seniority. Try a neutral or light blue color.
For the ladies …
We recommend either a pantsuit or a blazer with skirt, flats or low heels, and a neutral shirt. Keep your appearance tame but polished – light makeup, no chipped nail polish, etc. Leave the high-end designer apparel and jewelry (Céline or Hermès) at home. Avoid wearing stockings with runs – keep it plain and simple. 25
BY MICHAEL WANG
ELECTIVES TO TAKE Tired of crunching numbers in every class? Too much Finance homework wearing you out? Getting bored of balancing your assets and liabilities over and over, and over, and over again? Check out these nine suggested elective courses if you want to add some fun to your coursework! After all, it’s great to be working so hard toward your career goals, but anyone could use a little bit of something else to spice up their studies.
A one-of-a-kind class that allows you to learn about how humor is constructed and how it changes between demographics. You’ll be able to explore the practices and principles of comedic performance, including discussions and experiential exercises. Why exactly do you find your favorite jokes funny? This class has all the answers for you.
An elective that allows you to explore comprehensive theories of these strange, uncertain, frightening, awkward, yet often completely awesome transitional years between adolescence and adulthood. Take this course to explore your own demographic’s feelings of selfcenteredness, spendthrift tendencies, hedonistic desires, and quarter-life crises.
Science of Happiness
A course that centers around improving wellbeing through the lens of positive psychology. Taking place in a large lecture hall, this elective course features experiments to improve your own happiness, keeping sleep journals, recording positive changes you made in your life, analyses of your own emotions, and – if you’re lucky – professors who throw marshmallows all around the room!
For Non-Majors – a unique elective that takes place in an actual recording studio! This elective will show you the ropes of how to get clean audio recordings, how to work consoles and mixers, and how to produce music as a beginner. Take this course if you love to sing or play an instrument and want to learn how to professionally engineer them into an audio recording.
The Tribeca Film Festival
The Craft & Commerce of Cinema: Tribeca Film Festival will walk you through every step of filmmaking from the script ideas to the big screen. Top it off by receiving academic credit for attending one of the most renowned events in the film industry – you’re bound to attend some awesome panels and see famous celebrities everywhere!
Intro to StarCraft
Why yes, this is an actual video game class. This course will teach you how to become a master at StarCraft 2, all the while being educated about the unique characteristics and operations within the video game industry and how to master critical gaming strategies.
Food Photography Exactly what you think it is. Foodies, rejoice and take your Instagrams to the next level with this comprehensive course on how to take the best possible pictures of your delicious cuisines! Learn different techniques for photographing your culinary creations for the use in print and other forms of media. But hopefully, your meals will end up tasting even better than they look!
Economics of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll
A course that shows students how economics can be used to understand every facet of human behavior. This elective will shed some interesting light on how economics is essentially the basis for drug addiction, prostitution, homicide, religion, rock and roll music, and more!
Gender, Globalization & Politics of K-pop
A course usually found as part of the Gender and Sexuality Studies program at the College of Arts and Sciences. This unique course will tell you all about the role of gender and the political implications of K-pop as it continues to spread to markets in all corners of the globe. Take this course if you want to gain a unique perspective on the lucrative world of Korean pop culture.
2015 – 2016 MU
emember when we were just beginning to welcome our new candidates? We definitely had some great times during rush week, and who could forget all that awkward and slightly embarrassing dancing and karaoke-ing during Candidate Lockdown? Oh well, at least we were able to share a bunch of laughs with some great people. Let’s not forget all that hard work our candidates put into attending speaker events, going to socials, and performing community service. From the fundraisers to the countless firm-wide events, we’ve all made it through this year in Beta Alpha Psi with some exciting adventures and a bunch of new friends.
And who could have forgotten all the professional development we’ve all undergone this year? Those countless tutoring hours, financial workshops, and networking sessions – from speaker panels to Corporate Mingle – have all helped us come so far in becoming the professionals of tomorrow. As long as we keep working hard and supporting one another, the future is definitely bright for the BAP community.
But amidst all the hard work we are putting into our careers, we never forget to celebrate the amazing family we share. Candidates and members commemorated the year at the Roaring 20s-themed Semi-Formal with a “lit” night filled with friends, food, and fun! And finally, at Initiation, we were able to officially welcome our promising new candidates into our ever-growing family that is Beta Alpha Psi.
MATHEW ROY President
Candidate Master (Fall)
Director of Reporting
Candidate Master (Spring)
STEPHANIE BAO DEVYANI NIJHAWAN Community Service (Spring)
MICHELLE SHIN Freshman Mentor
Community Service (Spring)
YUE SONG Mentoring Chair
WOOSUNG CHUN Community Service
Community Service (Fall)
JI MING LI
Community Service Chair
Community Service (Spring)
Director of Correspondence
Community Service Chair
Candidate Master Chair
Candidate Master Chair
ADITYA GARG Mentoring (Spring)
MEGHANA BANSAL MICHAEL WANG Publications (Fall)
SUSAN LIU Candidate Master
Community Service (Fall)
JENNIFER ZHUANG Social Events Chair
Social Events (Fall)
YI PU LIN
Speaker Events (Spring)
RACHEL LEE Technology (Spring)
Social Events (Fall)
Special Events Chair
DIVAKAR GOUDA Technology (Spring)
Social Events (Spring)
TARUN PRAMOD Tutoring Chair
GEORGE QIAN VITA (Spring)
Social Events (Spring)
FREYA ZHANG VITA (Spring)
Speaker Events Chair
STANLEY WU VITA (Spring)
WENDY CHAO Technology (Fall)
WESLEY KANG Tutoring (Spring)
SUBEG SINGH Workshop Chair
YAXIN LIU Speaker Events
ANQI LU VITA Chair
ERIC CHAO Workshop
President, 2015 – 2016
B.S. in Finance and Statistics, ‘16 Hometown: Dubai, U.A.E. Fun Fact: I love Korean BBQ!
Director of Reporting, 2015 – 2016
B.S. in Finance and Management, ‘16 Hometown: Roxbury, NJ Fun Fact: I’ve driven over 1,000 miles as a delivery boy.
Treasurer, 2015 – 2016
B.S. in Finance and Accounting, ‘16 Hometown: Southbury, CT Fun Fact: I’ve lived in four states: Maryland, Washington, New Jersey, & Connecticut!
Vice President, 2015 – 2016 Director of Correspondence, 2015 – 2016
B.S. in Finance and Economics, ‘16 Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL Fun Fact: I’m a huge Miami Heat fan and have attended over 50 games growing up.
MEET THE EXECUTIVES
Thanks to our 2015 – 2016 Executive Board, pictured above, for making this great year possible. We welcome our newly elected Executive Board for the 2016 – 2017 academic year, pictured below, and look forward to another spectacular year in Beta Alpha Psi – Mu Chapter!
JACOB MOON President, 2016 – 2017
B.S. in Finance and Accounting, ‘17 Hometown: Busan, Korea; Yorba Linda, CA Fun Fact: I have a utility patent filed for a shoe design!
Vice President, 2016 – 2017
B.S. in Finance and Statistics, ‘17 Hometown: Parsippany, NJ Fun Fact: My parents originally named me Derrick, but later changed it to Eric.
Director of Reporting, 2016 – 2017
B.S. in Finance and Management, ‘17 Hometown: Parsippany, NJ Fun Fact: I am not a Marketing major.
Director of Correspondence, 2016 – 2017 B.S. in Finance and Statistics, ‘17 Hometown: Shanghai, China Fun Fact: I am a certified scuba diver!
CINDI ZHANG Treasurer, 2016 – 2017
B.S. in Finance and Accounting, ‘17 Hometown: Singapore, Singapore Fun Fact: I write a column for the flagship Chinese daily in Singapore.
THE BAP REVIEW TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF Wicy Wang, B.S. ‘16
MANAGING CO-EDITORS Claudia Fang, B.S. ‘17 Rosalyn Lin, B.S. ‘17 DIRECTOR Michael Wang, B.S. ‘18
PHOTOGRAPHERS Oscar Xia Sujia Zhao
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Roni Chambers Susan Liu Jessica Chan Andrew Tan Gary Chen Michael Wang Claudia Fang Wicy Wang Helen Kong Xiaoying Zhao