31st Annual BBSA Conference
BBSA Conference
Miklos Raibon ’13
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 11:15am

The BBSA Conference is the longest running student-led conference at Columbia Business School. This year’s theme, “Bridging the Gap: Profit, Passion, and Prosperity,” invited attendees to explore how they can simultaneously pursue their personal passions, excel in corporate America, and prosper financially.

The conference included various speakers and was an exciting opportunity for attendees to network with other students, alumni, prospective students, and representatives from the conference sponsors (American Express, Bank of American, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs).

Here were my takeaways:

Take Calculated Risks
The morning keynote, Jesse Greene Jr., discussed his extensive career experiences and the relationships he's built that have been the keys to his success. He notes that several times in his life he made significant career moves that might have appeared risky but that the moves were calculated risks that he had researched and that he was confident would ultimately enrich his career.

The idea of “calculated risks” was echoed in the panel “Exploring Your Passion within Corporate America” where panelists discussed how they made transitions in their careers that were not considered safe but that helped lead them to their personal passion.

Persistence is Key
The panelists on the “Innovation in Entrepreneurship: Opportunities and Challenges” panel were entrepreneurs from various industries who discussed their experiences from finding business partners and securing funding to managing customer relationships and dealing with uncertainty.

The importance of persistence was echoed by each panelist. They all faced significant challenges and setbacks while pursuing their goals but rather than give up, they pushed forward.

My favorite quote of the conference was from Brian Shields who stated: “Success is 5 minutes after most people give up.” As a future entrepreneur these words served as motivation for my future endeavors.

Utilize New York
Throughout the day, the speakers and panelists emphasized the wealth of resources that New York City has to offer. There were a number of programs and organizations in the city that I jotted down and plan to investigate further.

This is another example of the New York advantage that comes from being a student at Columbia Business School. There are so many opportunities a short subway ride away.

Overall, the BBSA conference was a huge success and I look forward to cultivating the connections that I made as I pursue my entrepreneurial goals.   

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