Monday, December 18, 2017

Entrepreneur Alexandra Szakats (CAS ’12) on the Importance of Learning to Think

Alexandra Szakats
Photo Credit: Jason Smith
We caught up with Alexandra, co-founder of trüFORMAT, a brain and body training company. She shared what it is like to be an entrepreneur, her early job experiences, and what motivates and inspires her.

What did you study at NYU?

I graduated with a degree in Metropolitan Studies and German. I didn’t declare until midway through my Sophomore year; there were plenty of interesting classes and coursework available, but, at eighteen, I was puzzled at the idea of having to pick a major that would guarantee a career. Instead, I chose based on my interest in the content and a confidence that it would teach me how to think. Cities are complex. My classes taught me to break down big subjects, understand the parts in relation to the whole, and reimagine their configuration. I’ve used this thinking in every (non-city related) job since graduation.

What was your first job after graduation?

My first job started before graduation on the Equities trading floor at Barclays Investment Bank. The summer before senior year, I was interning at a bank across the street. I met up with a friend who was completing his internship at Barclays, and he insisted I meet with his boss. I earned a job with her to help design strategies that generate and source new revenue streams for US equity products globally. With time, I led the equity education program designed to highlight the team’s thought leadership. I had the opportunity to travel all around the US and Asia.