Ari Kamin, is working as an Associate Product Analyst for Visa V.Me Digital Wallet Team - Product Strategy and Innovation in San Francisco, CA. Below is his path to success, with his tips for his peers:
"I decided to pursue paid internship for sophomore summer because I had no choice. I needed some money in my pocket, and wanted to work in a rigorous environment where I could learn something useful.
After 6 months or so of searching, I landed a position at Visa in San Francisco, CA through the program Inroads. Inroads offers training, courses and placement to high achieiving "minority" and first generation college students in the corporate world. The students in INROADS come from all walks of life, I learned alongside Stanford students, whose parents immigrated from Laos, to third generation Mexican-Americans studying finance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It came a point where it stopped being a "minority" program, as Asians, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Americans make up more than 50% of children born in America.
What connected us was our ambition Some students scoff at "affirmative action" programs, but if you are at the University of Rochester there are opportunities for everyone who is persistent, resourceful and open minded. Some students have legacies and networks, some have program opportunities, and some people just grind really hard.
My advice is to study what you care about, because the skills will come from experience. Do your industry research, gather a list of potential companies you want to work for (and their competitors) and be persistent. Most importantly, make sure you reflect this in your interview, which is often the hardest point. But fear not, because you'll never succeed until you fail. I remember my first phone interview I was stumbling over my words in a terrible fashion, and my roommate was on the couch pretending I had done a good job. At the end of the day, we're all gonna fail at many things.
My second summer I was taking phone calls while my friends were playing Mario Cart. You gotta do what you gotta do.
Looking back, a major factor of what really propelled me was the support from my peers at the U of R and our environment which fostered success. It's easier to find succcess when its the social norm. I'm happy now to be in an environment where I can learn a lot, be financially independent, save money and tackle some college loans. I am very optimistic for what our future holds."