Holston's View

Business Critique

Private Equity in China

by JB on April 19, 2012

All this discussion about emerging markets around different areas of the world sounds excellent.

But once you realize how difficult it will be to get in because you are a foreigner with no connections you’re going to reevaluate all of this talk.

And if you are trying to break into the private equity market in China it is going to be virtually impossible if you are a foreigner. Because this specific market is extremely difficult to break into.

The good news, is that you should never give up and you absolutely have to try to break in if this is the specific geographic area you want to work in.

So let’s go over some strategies that will allow you to break into private equity within the Chinese region.

First, try to do something tangentially related to the Chinese market. For example, try to network with different contacts within the region where you want to work and use your skills to provide advising expertise.

Second, at least become proficient in standard Chinese. Although trying to learn business Chinese is unrealistic as long as you can somewhat communicate you will be one step ahead of the rest.

Third, use LinkedIn and your own personal resource of contacts to try to find people from your own country that are currently working in China. Establishing a solid network can help you by leaps and bounds.

Fourth, make sure your LinkedIn profile is optimized and easy to understand. Although your overall response rate will be very low when using LinkedIn, you can increase your chances of success if you pay a lot of attention to how your profile looks. The more professional it looks the better you off you will be.

Fifth, contact the local Chamber of Commerce and try to network with as many ex-pats as possible. Do not underestimate the power of doing a lot of ground-level work.

Sixth, consider working for free. If you can eliminate all risk from your potential employer they are more likely to take you on board and then you can demonstrate your excellent skill set and work ethic.

Seventh, make sure the place where you want to work at is actually real and has a real office. A lot of companies will have a strong online presence but it is a simple farce.

Eighth, if possible try to get an internship while you’re still in school. Although this is not going to be feasible if you are already in the workforce, having a little preplanning can go a very long ways.

In the future, working at China is going to be extremely difficult because they are hiring less and less foreigners. So make sure you implement and take action on the above pointers if you really want to break into the Chinese private equity market.

How to Stay in Shape While You Sit in a Cubicle All Day and Stare at Your Computer

by JB on April 19, 2012

You have just finished your first year as an investment banker. You are recovering from your hangover and a night of indulgence with your coworkers.

And the next morning you try to fit into your old jeans but you notice that you can simply not button them up.

What Happened?

The answer: you are now fat.

The bottom line here is that working at a computer all day is extremely unnatural for the human body and you are bound to gain weight. I guess making all that money does come at a price…

I’m pretty sure when you were in school you are either an Olympic level athlete or a marathon runner. But nowadays, sitting in a cubicle all day is transforming your body for the worse.

The good news here is that it is possible to reverse the damage and it is possible to get healthy even while you sit at a desk all day.

The Most Common Causes of Fat Gain

Here is what is going to happen when you work all day at a desk:

  • You’re going to be motionless for a very long amount of time and your posture is slowly going to deviate.
  • You’re going to eat takeout food and catered food on a frequent basis.
  • You’re going to be pressured into drinking a large amount of alcohol when you mingle with coworkers and potential clients.
  • You will have very little time to exercise because you’re going to be too busy creating pitches.
  • Your coworkers will make fun of you if you do not drink with them.

In isolation, anyone of these factors can make you gain a massive amount of weight. But when you have to deal with them in parallel your chances of staying slim are close to none.

How to Get in Shape with Minimal Time

Assuming you do not have all day to exercise, I am going to present some strategies to help you get that good looking body.

Here are some things you can do right now:

  • Try to eat smaller meals four times per day at the very least.
  • Avoid takeout food and avoid catered food.
  • Eat something immediately after waking up.
  • Combine protein, fat, carbohydrates and vegetables in as many meals as possible.
  • Avoid anything with sugar.
  • Use stevia if you are addicted to sugar.
  • Exercise as hard as you can for thirty minutes.
  • Avoid doing cardio and instead stick with circuit training with weights.
  • Have a modest amount of carbs immediately after your workout.
  • Try to do 2 to 3 workouts per week.
  • Do not ask for permission to go to the gym during your first month on the job.
  • Make yourself extremely reliable and indispensable for the first month and then start asking for more.
  • Be careful with Starbucks, avoid anything with a large amount of sugar or a lot of milk.
  • Avoid alcohol.

Do not think too much about this, just get going!

The Evolving Media Revolution

by JB on June 22, 2012

Helping companies reach new levels of evolution, NewsGator is at the forefront of this movement. Here are some major trends I have noticed:

1. Media of the individual:

There is a huge demand for instant access to audio, text and video without having to wait.

Most people want extremely simplified means of finding said media.

And the key is to implement as much simplicity as possible when serving up these different types of media and this well be better accomplished as technology evolves.

The bad news is that large media brands have much to lose if they don’t embrace this consumer-driven demand to easily accessible media. The good news is that evolving to meet this demand has the potential to drastically extend brand exposure.

Most traditional media sources, however, have not exploited these opportunities to the fullest extent possible.

In essence, individual media platforms can allow traditional media outlets to hyper accelerate brand exposure in a viral manner.

2. Expression through media:

About.com was recently acquired by the New York Times and this demonstrates a clear trend: the production of individual-created media is on the rise and can be seen as a viable business model.

Families, businesses and individuals across all demographics are podcasting, creating blogs and other forms of content like video through online mediums. Fitness and weight loss blogs are exploding as I write this.

Even the most basic of tools like Flickr and wordpress have exploded and endless amounts (think 10,000+) of blogs are created every DAY.

However, a lot of the individual-created media is not good enough to warrant mass republishing. So the big media companies don’t have to get too worried about going all out with self-publishing platforms.

Mainstream authors and experienced broadcasters still produce content that is a cut above individual-generated content. The gap here is getting narrower, though.

Now we have to ask ourselves what does all this individual-generated content mean for society and its future?

The Right Way to Get Noticed When You Are Networking

by JB on April 19, 2012

Networking is an indispensable activity when you’re trying to land a high-paying job.

In the absence of a strong network it is going to be almost impossible for you to get that dream job because in the end, your network does influence your worth.

So in this useful article we are going to go over some strategies to maximize the time you spend networking.

Do Not Focus on Only One Person

If you simply focus on one individual you will limit the amount of talk that will go on within the firm. However, if you can connect with three or four different people within the same firm you have the chance of creating a buzz about yourself. In the end, this will increase your chances of being able to land an offer.

And do not forget to also look through your friends and family members to see if any of them work at the firm where you are trying to land a job.

Do Not Wait till the End

If you can get an internship early on in your career you will drastically increase your chances of being able to land a position. Because during the internship you can solidify your relationships with different people within the company which in turn will provide you with an advantage once you apply for a job.

On the other hand, if you do not have any internships and you have no contacts, it will be more to more difficult to make an impression.

Use Unconventional Methods of Networking

If you simply rely on standard networking sessions like the ones provided at schools, your efforts are going to be diluted amongst all the different participants.

However, if you reach out to people with nonstandard methods you will have a greater chance of success.

In fact, one of our readers was able to land a very lucrative job by simply purchasing gym memberships at the most exclusive fitness centers in his city.

He was able to meet all the high-powered individuals that were at the helm of their respective companies.

Use Brute Force

Remember that sometimes it is simply a numbers game. Do not give up and do not get discouraged if you do not get a response the first time around.

Usually, the most successful networkers are ones that stay consistent and persistent no matter how badly the odds are stacked against them.

Just like anything else in life it can come down to a simple matter of how many people you try to contact. And remember to avoid any type of social inhibitions or social awkwardness because this can set you back significantly.

So start networking to secure that excellent job right now.