What I’m working on at the moment…
Sheltering in place
I’m fortunate because my work is 100% computer-based. Despite being homebound, my daily activities haven’t changed since COVID19’s arrival. The increased time at home has led to interesting discoveries about what daily practices are necessary for maintaining a positive mindset. Daily meditation, regular exercise, and conscious separation of work and play have been beneficial in keeping me from slipping into depressive bouts. While I’m saddened by the loss of life and complicated situations caused by COVID19, I’m curious about the impact this pandemic will have on our communal thinking and our society’s structure.
Starting a New Job
On April 1st, I started working with Beyond 1435, where I’m responsible for scouting startups and developing market intelligence in mobility. After months researching the mobility landscape, I’m thrilled to finally apply my knowledge to concrete objectives. Over the past 18 months, I genuinely developed a passion for mobility; the changes we’ll experience there over the next 10 years will fundamentally transform society. I’m lucky to work with smart, thoughtful people in what I hope will be one of many jobs in the mobility space.
I’ve been taking intensive German classes since I arrived in Berlin. The teachers at Deutsch Akademie have my attention for 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. Even during the pandemic, the Akademie has managed to keep me engaged, with classes moving to Zoom. After 6 months, I’m finally starting to feel comfortable with the language. I am, by no means, an expert; but more comfortable reading and listening (speaking is still developing). I’ll continue studying until I reach professional proficiency, C1. If I continue at this pace, I’ll be able to finish formal classes in ~5 months.
Launching the Future Mobility Network
When I arrived in Berlin, I hoped to take part in a mobility-focused organization that hosted community events. After many months of searching, I didn’t quite find what I was looking for. I was lucky to get in touch with the guys at the Berlin Future Mobility Meetup as they were rethinking the organization. Over the last few months, I’ve been working on the Future Mobility Network, the next iteration of the Berlin Meetup. The goal of this (re)launch is to cultivate a meaningful local <> global mobility community. We’re aiming to unite a wide swath of people—industry professionals, investors, founders, corporates, policymakers, and impassioned citizens—in one place to move mobility forward as inclusively as possible.
Exploring fellowships and further education
It’s a bit ridiculous, but I’m using this time in isolation to throw my name in the hat for fellowships that could help develop my (thought) leadership and increase my network. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
At the same time, I’ve been exploring European doctorate programs, which can differ from American Ph.D. programs. Some programs are part-time, allowing candidates to conduct research while maintaining their jobs. As both fellowship and doctorate admissions are unpredictable, I expect most of my inquiries will fail. But I figured it can’t hurt to explore multiple options.
Studying for the CFA
I started studying for level 1 of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in January. It’s been a humbling experience, one that’s teaching me the true meaning of discipline. The requisite weekly 10-15 hours of studying is much harder to carve out than I expected. A few have asked why I decided to sit for the exam. It’s a great way to gain a comprehensive understanding of finance. I already feel more knowledgeable and I haven’t even completed level 1 materials yet. While the CFA charter won’t necessarily improve my work performance, the knowledge will be useful for my personal investing and managing the investments of others as a venture capitalist.
I’ve spent a large part of my time in Berlin trying to get to know the players in the venture and mobility ecosystems. Additionally, I’m new to the city and didn’t know many people before my arrival. As such, I’ve been taking coffee dates (pre-COVID19) and video calls (post-COVID19) to grow my network.
- AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, Kai-Fu Lee
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
- Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You, Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary
- How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region, Joe Studwell
- Tiger King
- RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12
- Avatar: The Last Air-bender
Updated on May 05, 2020 from Berlin, Germany.