Top of the Class

#43 How Sid is Helping Students Find the World's Best Competitions

April 18, 2021 Crimson Education Season 1 Episode 43
Top of the Class
#43 How Sid is Helping Students Find the World's Best Competitions
Top of the Class
#43 How Sid is Helping Students Find the World's Best Competitions
Apr 18, 2021 Season 1 Episode 43
Crimson Education

It's a problem ambitious students face all around the world - how to find competitions you would love to enter. For Siddhant, it was a problem his younger sister was facing at her new school and so he decided to be part of the solution.

Without much technical knowledge, Sid has put together a team of students working on Comprich to promote social impact competitions from around the world.

In this episode, Sid takes us from original idea to present day, how he has been networking with competition managers, developing the website and tips for working with other students.

If you're interested in working on the Comprich team, you can contact Sid through LinkedIn, Instagram or email.

Show Notes Transcript

It's a problem ambitious students face all around the world - how to find competitions you would love to enter. For Siddhant, it was a problem his younger sister was facing at her new school and so he decided to be part of the solution.

Without much technical knowledge, Sid has put together a team of students working on Comprich to promote social impact competitions from around the world.

In this episode, Sid takes us from original idea to present day, how he has been networking with competition managers, developing the website and tips for working with other students.

If you're interested in working on the Comprich team, you can contact Sid through LinkedIn, Instagram or email.

Podcast Host  00:00

Hi Sid, welcome to the  Top of the class podcast, it's awesome to have you on the show. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?

Sid  00:23

Sure. So my name is Sid, I live in the UAE in Dubai. And I am a year 11 student or a grade 10 student in my sophomore year of high school, I came to the by about four years ago where I previously started in Singapore. And now I'm focusing a lot here on my extracurriculars and my grades trying to get my profile to be as fascinating if you will as possible.

Podcast Host  00:45

Okay, what's the end goal there? Sounds like you're aiming for a US college perhaps?

Sid  00:50

Yes. But at the same time, I think aside from the college is also the aspect of networking, right? The people you get to meet there? And I guess the short answer is, yes, us is the destination that I'm looking to go into.

Podcast Host  01:03

Awesome. Awesome. Now for fans of the show, longtime fans of the show people might remember that said was on episode one as one of the winners of the TGCC. The Tiger global Case Competition, which was very business focused, and boy together with a team of other students, and he competed on the global stage. He did a fantastic job there. And what are you here to talk about today?

Sid  01:27

Right. So today, I'm here to talk about initiative I started called Khan bridge, where basically, it's a amalgamation of all the competitions that my team and I put together on a really easy to use website to make sure that opportunities like the TGCC aren't missed for other students who would have the caliber or would like to experience what I experienced throughout those, that the tenure of these competitions,

Podcast Host  01:52

I think this is solving a really interesting problem that a lot of students face, particularly the ones who would be wanting to enter these kinds of competitions, in that it's sometimes difficult to find out about them, if you are not being told about them by your school. I mean, a lot of people are relying on their teachers or their, you know, advisor, whoever, or even their friends within school to let them know about these opportunities. But you have created conference to I guess make an easy place, as you said, for students to find these competitions, was it a pain point for you that you kind of said, okay, like I've experienced this as an issue. And I want to try and solve it for myself and for others.

Sid  02:30

So actually, the thing about that, Alex, is that that's a problem that I and a couple of my friends have been facing for a long time. Because a lot of competitions really not only give you the experience that you need, but they also kind of show you how good you are compared to everyone else. Because typically, we're just in our own school operating in our own circle. But competitions allow us to look at the wider picture of everyone else who's interested in that field internationally. But I didn't actually know it was a problem, like a widespread problem, if you will, until my sister, who is actually in grade seven, told me that was a problem, because previously we would attend the same school. And then she decided to change her schools. And the first thing I told her is okay, you got to go and you got to make an impact. You got to find these extracurriculars. And show everyone else You mean business, right? Because moving to a new school, she was already established in my old school was a bit of a, she was a bit edgy about that, because she really wanted to, you know, show people who she was. But then the concern that came back to me that very same day was well, I don't know what's going on? How can I find what's going on? And I think that day of realization was that it's not only me and my friends, but everyone else who's trying to look to find that experience can't really find it.

Podcast Host  03:37

Right? And so, okay, you've identified the problem, your sister's having a problem even so it's close to home? What's the first thing that you do to say, Okay, how can I start solving this? So initially,

Sid  03:49

I didn't know how to detail from what I was going to do. I was thinking, you know, maybe I'll do like a school magazine type thing, or I'll do this or I'll do that. It wasn't until I saw the movie, social network pirate, okay, now, that is something that is very, very interesting, this idea of creating a social network that tries to strive to a particular target to achieve like, in this case, it was social connections. In my case, it's competitions. And from that moment, I decided, Okay, I want to create an online international platform to give this information out as well.

Podcast Host  04:25

Okay, so that's the concept. And did you have a team around you at that time? Or was it just you with your idea? And then I guess the next step is how do I turn this idea into reality? Right?

Sid  04:36

So actually, I didn't have a team around me at the time. So that was particularly hard for me because I'm not very adept at computer science and web development. So the entire basis of the product was something I was not very capable of doing on my own. But you know, after I think a month or two of, you know, reaching out to my network, talking to as many people as possible, I am now very happy to say that I'm surrounded with Lovely, lovely people who are doing the job to the best of our abilities. And it's because of them that accomplishes this big.

Podcast Host  05:06

Yeah. And how many people in the team now?

Sid  05:09

So I believe we're around 18. Members. So yeah, it's a good sized team. Yeah.

Podcast Host  05:15

Yeah, that's fantastic. And they all kind of scouring the world for these competitions to put up on the platform, or are they working on web development? Like, what are some of the roles that they that you have them doing?

Sid  05:26

Right, right. So in my mind, I have divided kind of the organizational structure into three or four key parts. So the first part is, of course, a web development. Without the product, we can't really function. And we're getting new developments day by day, you know, we're trying to experiment with machine learning and artificial intelligence to incorporate into our website, then, of course, we have our media and Ambassador team. So again, I'm not very good at the there's a lot of things I'm not good at. One of the other things I'm not good at is making posts for social media. And these people are extremely talented designers, they help create awesome designs, put them on Instagram, put them on our social media pages. And then we have those ambassadors who go down and spread the word, then we have our outreach team, these are the people who actually go and look for competitions to put onto our website. And finally, I would say the last sort of group of people we have is, I wouldn't say it's like a separate group, it's just the bond that I share between me, the chief technology officer who's also leading the web development team, and the leaders of their respective departments, if you will, I wouldn't say that's a separate group. But it's definitely, I would say, a place where both all of us can kind of give feedback of what's happening in our own sort of respective areas, and kind of solve them together. Because if we just solve it in our own sort of vacuum safe bubble, then we don't get the input from everyone else. So that's why I thought it would nice to mention it, because that in itself is I would say a separate dynamic, all in all itself.

Podcast Host  06:58

Wow, fantastic. So you've got this great team, and don't feel bad about not being able to do social media, or like the computer science stuff. I mean, half the challenge in getting these things up and running is finding good people to take on the tasks that you yourself might not be that strong in I mean, it's it's crazy to think that some students try and set these organizations up all by themselves, thinking that that is achievement, when in actual fact, you know, it's delegating, it's no trying to find in outreaching, to people who you think would be a good fit. It's that kind of leadership, which is, you know, a huge part of the project and getting that up and running. What have you learned from that experience of bringing people on board to your organization that, you know, is still fledgling and still kind of starting out? What have you learned about pitching that and trying to get people to realize that this is a good way to spend their time,

Sid  07:51

I think the biggest thing I learned is that the credit factor plays a lot, much larger sort of part in the rationale to join things than I would have liked to think. So Khan bridge is a very, very new initiative, it doesn't have the vintage or the prestige that a lot of organizations who have been running for a long time have. So I can't go up to people and say, hey, look, this will look great in your application, because it did for other people, because I didn't have the years before to say that. But I think what really brought these people in what really allowed me to surround myself with these wonderful, wonderful people, is that every single one of them shares the same vision as I do that we want to make a social impact. I can tell you for a fact right now that everyone in my team, although they are they are the creditor, I would say as a side bonus, the main purpose of doing what they're doing, the reason that they're staying up with late night calls from me and doing work aside from their normal school responsibilities, is because they share that same vision. I think, for people who are looking to recruit people, the number one thing you should be doing is that making sure they buy into what you are trying to achieve. Because you can sway them with credit all you want. But as everyone does credit, everyone gives you credit, they can give you all this luxury fantasy, this dollar great on your CV. But what specific about your initiative is what you're trying to do. And that is something that should come forward. Yeah.

Podcast Host  09:05

So in terms of the social impact side of this, you are so fraught with conflict, which are not necessarily creating the social impact, because it's the competitions in a way that giving you know the social impact, but you are opening the door to these competitions, who will then have the social impact, right. So it's like you the, I guess trying to forge a path for these organizations and these competitions to reach more students and make it easier for them to find more students because you're right, there is a bit of a disconnect at the moment between a lot of these competitions are siloed in a way they're all kind of competing for know for lack of a better word competing, excuse the pun, I guess they're competing for a wider student base. And you're out there saying no, you don't necessarily have to compete if you're all on the one platform. This is where you want all students to meet, and they might end up enrolling instead of just in one competition, they might enroll in three or four or five and that's Where the social impact is right? That's where students can increase their awareness about certain issues they can in, you know, learn or connect with a lot more people from around the world. That's where the real social impact is. It's like creating a social network through competitions. Is that what you're aiming to do?

Sid  10:16

Yes, that's that's exactly what we're aiming to do. That's, that's our primary focus. Yes, but we do. Very recently, actually, we just decided to branch out into assuming more responsibility or agency behind the people we send out to these competitions. So very recently, you know, we just brought in a wonderful, wonderful writer, and she's very experienced in competitions herself. And she is now in charge of the competition blog, where we give tips for different competitions, how to overcome, you know, those pre competition jitters, all those tips that we can give along with the are, again, this is all kudos to the team. You know, my network with them network meshing together, we can reach out to all these different people, award winners best delegates, and get them to put their inputs as well. So aside from creating that path, like you said, we're also now trying to venture into making sure that the participants are as ready for it and as prepared for it as possible.

Podcast Host  11:09

Gee, you sound like you're halfway taking my job. He said, this is the kind of, I guess one of the goals at the top of the class was to bring on competition winners from around the world. And we've had Olympiad medalists and Google Science Fair winners. And we've had a winner from one of the major science fairs. With three m young scientists challenged by two winners from filming scientists challenge. So yeah, I guess like, that's kind of you can you can take their transcripts by Oh man, cuz I do try and learn from students, like, how did you actually win these things, right, because a lot of the time, it's a bit of a mystery how a student all of a sudden ends up winning like $100,000 competition. And you know, some of the stories that I've heard is that I one of the girls started playing around in a kitchen, she like read an article, and then, you know, was doing something in a kitchen, all of a sudden, she ends up being a 3am, young scientist challenge winner. So there you go, it's pretty amazing how competition winners can come about. And it's great that you're providing that kind of holistic service, I guess, on conference as well. How do you decide which competitions you do and don't feature?

Sid  12:10

Um, so previously, I didn't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Previously, when I was starting, I was kind of like, okay, now we'll take any, you know, because I think the amount, the volume of competitions that we put on, there was a big factor in bringing people in. But now that we have a decent amount on a new task, and much to the dismay of our outreach, guys, a new task that I've given to them, is now that you have to kind of vet the competition's before we decide to send anything out to them. So a big part of what makes concrete I think, a better service than, you know, a homeroom announcement is that we put special attention to the pedigree and the accuracy of the information. And because of that, now, we have become a lot more selective with the competition that we've put on there, only the ones that we feel would create that sort of social impact in the participants, if there is, for example, a science competition where only 20 students attend, and they want to be feature and comp rich, that is something we have to consider. Because what exactly what is something new we're providing to our user base that is already there? What will they get from that competition? And with that, you know, set of criteria of questions that we have, we are now making sure that we get the top quality competitions onto our website.

Podcast Host  13:29

Right? And in terms of how you connect with the competition's themselves, because you said you send stuff out to them? Couldn't you just like, copy and paste their website and be like, hey, conference people, like, here's a competition that we heard of, or sort of, but like, you're going to the trouble of actually contacting these people and being like, hey, look, we'd love to feature you on our website. Is that the kind of relationship and community that you want to establish?

Sid  13:54

Yes, yes. There was a lot of people pointed out to me in the beginning, that it's kind of a deathwish going to people, because, well, for the lack of a better word, that time that I would require the effort I require. And I don't mean this in a negative way that people would tend to exert over the 4g forging that connection is significantly more than it would be if you were to just, you know, like you said, get the information of a website and slap it on to accomplish. But two reasons we do that. The first reason is because it's kind of part of our business model. How we do it as we work on this like symbiotic marketing strategy. So when a comp club or competition comes onto campus, we advertise them through all our means to our newsletter, social media, and of course, the the actual website. And they also advertise us, that's part of the contract that we have them assigned. And now what that does is, and that's why we've had astounding growth accomplished is that one competition that one competition who decides to advertise competition, he is kind of or she is kind of resting easy knowing that 30 other columns predictions are doing the same. Yeah. And that vast spread that we have is and one reason why we decided to talk to them personally. Another reason is because then we ensure that all the information there is correct and updated. If you if dates are postponed, or prices are changed or anything like that, we, if we were to just slap something on, we have to continuously check with that and have to rely on people to do that, which is kind of unfair to constantly check, you know, 3040 competitions a day. But with these people having their own, like ownership of that rental space on college, they are responsible for that. And because you know, they are, I wouldn't say rely, I think that's a bit of a strong word, but because they feel that they benefit from Corporate Services, they themselves ensure that the information is accurate, updated, and to the standard of what the consumers would expect if they were to come on to their own website.

Podcast Host  15:49

Yeah, yeah. Fair enough. Well, I mean, just said, you mentioned a contract there. And I think that's an interesting part of perhaps the development of this idea, right? Like, you don't start the idea thinking, Oh, I'm going to get people to sign a contract. And this is how we're going to do it that I like, the idea develops over time. So can you take us through the timeline, from idea through to where we are today? And some of like the, I guess, forks in the road of, you know, how many people do we need on the team and that decision that needs to be made, and like how many competitions that we're going to have, and it's been any challenge along the way where you've had to kind of reverse a few decisions where you thought you're going in one direction, you're like, no, that's not gonna work, and then change course, and go back to where you may have thought you've been originally.

Sid  16:29

Um, so the first I think it started with the idea with me talking to people, then I decided, you know, courtesy of tdcc, to do a bit of market research. And, you know, I was amazed by their responses, we have 1000s, and 1000s of students all over the world that responded, you know, and that's where we come to the 97% figure that 97% of them want to attend more competition than feel that they'll benefit from competition service. So from there, you know, I had faith in that I was doing something that people would appreciate, because there's no point wasting my time, and everyone else's time doing something won't affect anybody, right, there's a cause that I'm trying to achieve. So from that came to assembling the team, I talked to a couple of people. And because of their time commitment, like web developers, they just didn't chose not to kind of take that leap there. Because a lot of the people aren't I know, and who I feel are adapted that are in their sophomore year, they're really focusing on their academics and their APS and their nYp exams. So quite by accident, I ended up placing a lot of the trust in this in in Cambridge, to someone I literally just met that day. So I reached out to one of my friends, and I said, Listen, I'm looking for someone who does this, do you know anyone in your school who could do that, and he gave me the contact name of someone. And I think I'm very protective over competence in the sense that I don't want anyone to go and start emulating that doing their own thing. So for me to kind of tell him and spill everything about kombucha what I want him to do what the vision is, was something that was very hard for me to do. But I'm glad he did that, because that not only intrigued him, but I think that trust was not reciprocated just a few days later, and then we started working on it like that. Another I would say stumbling block was rapid rapid expansion, I thought that would be an amazing idea to get as many like countries in the team as possible, as big as of a team as possible, assign out different roles. But the problem with that is, and the problem that I've noticed a lot of people are making when they're starting these big, big competitions, is that the impact that you're making should not be directly proportional to the amount of people that are on your team. Facebook was only three people for a very, very long time, despite, you know, the exponential growth in its users. And I think that was a mistake I made I was too fast in the amount of people are high, like I won't say hired brought in. And I was too i was i was reaching too far, like kind of, I guess, alluding to the tale of Icarus and the waxwings. And that's a very important lesson for me that I need to make sure that everyone who's in the team has a purpose. And the purpose is is not diminishing, as add new people in. Yes. And so that's one thing that because I was always like, you know, astounded by the organizational structure of these giant giant companies that they have this department, that department that those underlings and this and that, but you know, it took me a while to realize I'm not PwC I don't have that yet, so I can't be expected to emulate that as well. And I guess one final fork in the road was, I think now that competition has generated some form of interest. I'm getting 50 emails a week in my inbox asking to be a part of the team. And every one of those applicants that I say yes or no to there's always that, you know, split. What is this the right decision? Because, for me, at least personally, there's a there's an individual behind each CV, there's an individual behind each resume. And I think that second thought that I have is that maybe that individual has more to offer than what they put on their CV and most of the times that is the case. So I think every day there's a new fork that would this person I've heard what his inputs be good. And I think that's part What it is running a business? Right? Just I'm glad to have a team to consult on this, who makes sure who give me confidence in the decisions that I'm making? And you know, really allow me to consider everything. But yeah, those are mainly those key. I would, like you said forks in the road.

Podcast Host  20:15

Yeah, yeah, no, it's great that you've been able to reflect on all of those. And I really love that idea that the more people you bring on, you can't diminish the roles and responsibilities of the people who are already on the team. And I think that is a very real thing that often happens, not just for student run organizations, because it's so easy to bring people on with student run organizations, if you know, volunteer basis, you don't have to sign contracts that necessarily etc, just bring them on, then this one, you know, you do really have to think about how you go about hiring people and for what purpose, they're going to be fulfilling not just for the week, but for long term as well. So thank you for that. That was a good analysis. Is it taking more time than you originally expected it to take you mentioned, you're getting like 50 emails a week, these kinds of things? As someone who is, you know, nearing the pointy end of high school yourself? Is it a bit concerning that you're taking on more and more time with coverage?

Sid  21:13

It's a big concern, definitely, for sure. So the the household that I come from the the values that I was raised with, is very academic centric. So I think my one of my priorities is making sure that I'm devoting enough time to my education, in terms of my tests, my projects and all that stuff, because I believe that takes center stage whenever it is building a profile, but the attachment that I had to accomplish on in the sense the impact that I'm creating more than just what's going to be on my CV more than what's going to go on my application. That is, you know, that that high, I'm not willing to let go of. So you know, much to the dismay of my parents, I'm spending a lot of time on college, I'm glad he hasn't had a significant impact on my education as of yet on my results as of yet. So I'm very, very thankful for that. But you know, in the times where I do have to kind of take that those two, three day breaks for my exams, I'm very appreciative of the people that kind of hold on the fort for me, you know, one of the advantages by having such a diverse team is the exam is not always the same. So there's always someone I can rely on to kind of carry the flag while I'm away for these exams.

Podcast Host  22:22

What are some of the unexpected challenges of managing a international team? I'm going to guess there's time zones and like, what platforms people use to chat on, and all these kinds of things are always a little bit different. Is that they one of the biggest challenges communication?

Sid  22:39

Yes, yes, communication. I don't know how to say this. Because it's, it's very hard for me to articulate and I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who feels this way. But the problem with someone who works in a different country than you, or in a different locale than you is that that physical contact that you have, that constant communication that you have is hard to foster. And the problem with not fostering that communication is that then the interest dies down, the dedication dies down, the motivation dies down. And the problem that poses for the rest of the organization is that work is not getting done. So I've made sure to, and this is a good thing, because I'm getting to know these wonderful, wonderful people as well, I've made sure to make sure that I'm made sure to make sure I've made sure to take out time to speak with each of these individuals, not only about competence, but just generally having a chat. You know, I think that a conversation without an ulterior motive often can be useful, more useful than the ulterior motive itself. A big thing that I've you know, taken from all the other initiatives that have led is that people respond much more effectively to when they have their own input into what goes in. For example, if I talk to an individual only for work purposes, and, you know, do this, do that, do this do that. They not only associate me with just the team, but they also associate me with someone they should, I won't say fear, but that's the only word that can come to my mind when I think of that, you know, but when we take the velvet glove approach, and you know, we talk to them as a friend, and most of these people are my friends, they disassociate me from comp rich, and as someone they can talk to. And once that connection is made, their dedication that they have for the cause is not only because they want to make an impact, but because they want to work with me and the rest of their team, and they want to continue that relationship. And that's something I've thought leaders did too, for me, which I really, really appreciate it. And I didn't do in the past, which now I know I have to do and that's been working excellently

Podcast Host  24:38

Well, I can say with 100% assurance that you are not the only person to have that challenge of continual dedication and motivation, particularly when you are not working closely with these people like you might be in different countries or different cities that have my faith. And yeah, the motivation is sky high and the first time Couple of weeks, and then the contact, start slowing down, and then all of a sudden, you just get 100% get ghosted by them, and they just stop, stop replying to, you know, this is a common thing that I've had with a lot of students who have come on to the show, particularly with student run organizations, but I love your approach, I think it's about fostering a relationship beyond the original intent, which was comprehension, you know, turning it into a friendship, and both understanding that, I guess long term, there's more benefit than just the work, there is an opportunity to learn from each other as well, which is awesome. What would be your, I guess, big pieces of advice that you would give to students who are also looking to, I guess, improve the communication between the outside world and schools? Because this is essentially what comfort is doing, right? You go to the outside world, all these organizations, all these competitions, and you're trying to improve that relationship with schools and students. So what do you think are some of the the main pieces of advice for students who are wanting to try and bridge that gap between the school bubble and the outside world?

Sid  26:06

You know, as much as it pains me to say this, there has to be a premade network that the individual has beforehand, a big piece of advice A lot of people have given me and I think my dad has the most credit for that, for this is to have a network and build that early. And because of that, I now have a lot of people I can trust, and I can, initially, all the competition that I brought in were people I knew, right, then I could leverage their presence to talk to other people. But I think if you know, we were to assume that that is something inaccessible to whoever's deciding to start their own thing. I think the biggest sort of piece of advice I could give, is, don't be ashamed or afraid of, you know, reaching out, I would say, like, like a salesman type thing. Right. You know, as much as we say, you know, don't keep bothering people don't keep badgering people. I feel like if you go about it the right way, if you, I think, don't do those copy, paste, you know, emails, and you know, I would say follow up with them respectfully, then you can, they're more likely to reply, because at the same time, you have to understand from their perspective, when conference was starting, what are they going to get from us? Right now that, you know, I've built a network and you know, I've kind of chased around a couple of people. And we have that presence, I can, like I said, leverage that and, and the other competitions, I'm more than happy to, you know, kind of take a bite of that pie, because now I believe that conference has created that aspirational value that I don't want to miss out on this, for both the competitions, and the students are like,

Podcast Host  27:39

I love that I think that's such a relevant piece of innovation, but you shouldn't be ashamed to, you know, be a bit of a Salesman early on, and believe in your own idea, and hope people buy into that idea. And that's exactly what you did. And that's the only real way to get an idea off the ground. I think a lot of people who do try and do everything themselves are the people who are afraid of being the salesman, or at least, they're afraid of being a salesman very, very early on. They're like, I'll be a salesman, once I've got it established. But the problem is, it's very hard to get established, if you haven't got anybody else to help you. So it's kind of a chicken and egg situation, right? Do you set it up? And then get people? Or do you get people to then set it up? And I think in your instance, you probably more got people to then set it up. You had like the idea. People could relate to the idea. They understood the problem. And they said, Yep, I want to be a part of that, and then help set it up. Is that probably the better case scenario that you you established? Right? Yes, yes.

Sid  28:39

It's hard to get to that place. Like you said, it's a bit of a chicken in the egg situation. But if handled well, I think, you know, I had a lot of people I could rely on, I had a network that I could reach out to. And I think it keeps going back to that point, right? That because you know, that that communication without without an ulterior motive when I hang out with people, when I talk to people through competitions at GCC, that's where most of my network and a lot of those people have come to actually join comp bridge. They did so because you know, they could trust me as an individual, and then not really treat, they could turn a blind eye on what you've already done in terms of the relevance at conferences. So I think again, it all comes back to the point of having a solid network.

Podcast Host  29:20

Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. Now, what's next for you? I mean, you've been working on conference, you've got school nearly finished. You've got the US college applications staring you in the face, I'm sure. Is that going to be the focus for the next 12 months alongside coverage? Um,

Sid  29:36

I think applications are a bit of, I would say, a slippery slope. Because I think Believe me when I say that, you know, I there are a lot of times where I feel like what I'm doing in terms of building my profile isn't enough. Because you know, if I just take a quick scroll through LinkedIn, I see these kids who have you know, 20 different patterns. multi billion dollar companies. And that is definitely something that's a bit of an intimidating factor. I can't really look to start anything until I've kind of made that I would say epiphanies or breakthrough that you Okay, yes, I meet that standard. And I think a lot of students are facing that same problem, where they're holding themselves to the best person they see. And then once they've kind of broken that barrier, they see other people 10 different people who are better than them. And that that continuous sense of that that vicious cycle of constantly comparing yourself to what other people are doing, which a lot of students, surprisingly, are doing. I think that's the reason that I really haven't you no have again, there is a bit of time for me before I start anything. But that's a big kind of intimidation for me, how do I start? How do I convince these admissions officers that I'm better than someone who I already believe is better than me, but I think once and this is something I've started to do, but once you start accepting that you have made your best effort, and this is the best version of yourself, and you constantly strive to make a better version of yourself, then I think the rest kind of falls down like dominoes.

Podcast Host  31:06

Wow, you have tapped into a whole different part of the site, the psyche that a lot of students are definitely feeling I saw there was this post on LinkedIn, I was chatting with another student about it actually, by a girl called Stephanie Sue, I don't know if you saw the post, it kind of went viral in a way on LinkedIn. And basically, she was saying that like the intimidation factor of going through LinkedIn and seeing profiles of founders of this and, you know, internship here and whatnot, and the students like in your 10, or 11, you're like, Oh, my God type of thing. It is it is definitely an intimidating place. And on occasion, my response to that is being the host of the top of the class, having spoken to a lot of students about how they got started on their journey to this internship, or to this, you know, competition win, or whatever it might be. It's often like a quiet, humble beginning. And, you know, I was talking to one student, but he has this global media company, like, international media company, and he's, I've made a lot of money from it actually dominating, etc. And the original idea came from a newsletter that his mum was making, that he was distributing to the other mums at school. And like, that's a very humble beginning. And he's just like, Oh, yeah, like me and my mom, were putting together this newsletter, and then realize that, like, there was an appetite for it. And then we started, you know, expanding it a little bit and expanding it a little bit. And then over the course of two or three years, it became what it is today. So I think once you dig into exactly how these students got started, you kind of peels away the intimidation factor a little bit. And I always think that like, you can make anything sound really good. If you put like, internship, founder of this kind of thing next to it, like, you know, internship, what did you do, you were doing the filing, come on, let's be on a CEO. coffees with people for a little while, like, it's not as impressive sometimes is what it is made to be on any social media platform, LinkedIn, Instagram or anything else. But 100%, it is a challenging side here. psychological issue that I think a lot of students are facing, particularly at that point, the end of school and, you know, aiming for top us colleges. Everyone knows it's competitive. And I think that competitiveness is a big been saying very much on on platforms like LinkedIn, which is definitely had a demographic shift to a lot of high schoolers. But yeah, said I will check all your links that you want to have in the show notes conference, we'll put in there for sure. I mean, this is the longest I've ever talked for said cut me off, please. Tell me something else. What should we put in the show notes?

Sid  33:38

I think, I mean, we recently started a blog, e commerce blog that I was speaking about, that is something that can definitely go in there. We could put my contact details if anyone has any questions about me wants to get involved in concrete, I encourage all listeners to apply. I do read through every single of those 50 emails I get. And I do have a chat with every one of those individuals. So please don't be afraid to reach out to me and pitch what you have to bring. And I'll be more than happy to bring you on to the team.

Podcast Host  34:06

Awesome. And that's for anyone around the world.

Sid  34:09

Anyone around the world. I don't have a particular demographic or roll in mind as of yet. And that's how all my roles got filled. Actually, someone came to me and said, I'm good at this. I want give me I said I'm good at this. And from that I kind of said, okay, you know, maybe we could use that skill for this. And that's why I don't want to restrict anyone. Anyone who's listening to this, send me an email, and we can get chatting from there.

Podcast Host  34:29

All right, awesome. Well, we'll put all those details in the show notes, but Sid, it's been awesome to have you back on the top of the class podcast after your episode one debut, and wishing you all the best of luck for the continued growth of coverage and for the application season, which is soon to be upon you. But don't worry, I'm sure you'll do just fine. said thanks so much. I look forward to sharing the episode far and wide.


Perfect. Thank you so much.

Podcast Host  34:53

Thanks for listening to top of the class. subscribe for future episodes for show notes and to plan your best future. Head to Crimson