Siddhant Sachdev (‘17) Brews Success
Siddhant Sachdev (A&S ‘17) claims to “not be a coffee person,” but if he had to have a cup, he’d opt for a caramel frappuccino. Although you won’t find him drinking a standard cup of coffee, he’s brewing something more powerful: knowledge.
Siddhant is a Campus Ambassador for Morning Brew, a business newsletter launched by University of Michigan students Alex Lieberman and Austin Rief. It helps students navigate daily business news to aid them in their personal and professional development. Delivered via email at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, students can read The Brew with their morning cup of coffee or in between classes. Unlike your morning cup of coffee, The Brew is free.
Morning Brew is a powerful, accessible tool for students of all disciplines. Siddhant shares the value of Morning Brew and what it is like being a Campus Ambassador for a startup below:
What is Morning Brew?
The Morning Brew is a free daily e-mail newsletter by students for students that acts as a one-stop shop for all things business. Written in a conversational and witty tone, featuring short summaries about stories ranging from the economy to company earnings to startups/tech as well as business fact/term and question of the day, this resource is for the young business person. Whether you are preparing for an interview, getting ready for an internship/job, or just want to stay up to date with what’s going on in business, The Brew is the perfect read for you. You read the Brew because you want to, not because you have to.
Why should students read Morning Brew?
The biggest advantage of reading the The Brew is you generally get interested in what you’re reading. That’s really important because that’s when you start to go above any beyond what you have been prescribed to read for your interviews. Also, if you want to go into further depth on a particular issue or particular news, Morning Brew provides the links where you can click and find out more through other sources like Yahoo! News.
The reason you want to read it is because you want to keep abreast on what is happening daily rather than one month before your interview. Typically, more people subscribe to The Brew when they are applying to finance jobs.
I was told to read Wall Street Journal every day. While there is no doubt that it was an incredibly valuable resource, each article in WSJ took about 20 to 25 minutes, and at the end of it I didn’t understand much of it because it goes into a lot of technical terminology. On the flip side, Morning Brew was really easy to understand, and it instantly captured the essence of all the news. It was tailored towards students like me.
How did you market this service to students?
The first step was social media. Within Facebook, I went to several groups such as the Jobs and Internships group – that was crucial because a lot of people there are looking for resources. The next step was actually pitching to the clubs I am a part of. I am a part of the Social Business Consulting Group on campus, and I pitched to them. That got the word of mouth going. I also pitched it to my fraternity because there were many people there trying to land jobs on Wall Street. The third step was speaking to individual classes. I am an Economics and Government major, so a lot of my classes are aligned with macroeconomics and the market. People there are interested in learning about the market. The Brew is tailored to the types of jobs they are seeking.
How did you get involved with Morning Brew?
I got involved through one of the newsletters. At the top of the newsletters, Morning Brew advertises opportunities for students such as the Microsoft Leadership Conference. One day I was reading The Brew and it said, “We are looking for campus ambassadors.” I saw a lot of value in it, and I figured if I could add value to others through this service.
My job mainly includes outreach – telling people why The Brew is good, the value it can add to them, and why they should subscribe to it. I was referred to it by a friend, and I had a sales and trading interview. I can most definitely say that The Brew was the most important resource I had before my interview because I took two hours and went through all the brews from the last three weeks and had a very good grasp of the markets.
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
Not entirely, to be completely frank. I am a representative, and I have more of a marketing role. It does obviously involve some strategy to effectively market a product that is very new on a campus that is so diverse. I think it is a good step into entrepreneurship. I took a class in AEM. It was called Entrepreneurial Strategy for Technology Ventures. That gave me a better idea of what an entrepreneur is, and that motivated me to pursue the entrepreneurial track. This summer I will be working at Wayfair, a startup founded by two Cornell alums. It is based out of Boston and is an e-commerce for home decor. I will be working as a Business Analyst for them.
What is the toughest part of being a Campus Ambassador for a startup?
There are two parts to it. The first is fielding the value you see in the product to other people and convincing them. There’s the whole concept of social capital, and when you are trying to market something through Facebook you are relying on your social capital to spread the word. If your social capital does not see the value add that you are trying to give them, then you are extinguishing that social capital without creating a return. You’ve lost your social capital, and you haven’t made a return. That’s a problem because the next time you want to do something, you don’t have social leverage.
Making people see the value beyond recruitment is the second challenge. Something that is more characteristic of Cornell is the fact that there are so many diverse student groups. Morning Brew as a product might seem like it is more curated towards economics and ILR majors, specifically people who are trying to land jobs in investment banking and sales and trading. People don’t always see the value in knowing about markets. I personally believe that after reading The Brew in the morning, I am much more confident in my conversations because I can connect everything in my classes to what is happening in the real world. I think that’s important for everyone.
Subscribe to Morning Brew here.