The Best Thing About a Career in Investment Banking: It Feels So Good When It Ends
There’s a lot to like about the founders of TripTrotting. Shana Zheng and Aigerim Shorman met as students at USC and shared a common love of travel, which they did frequently through the University. But they both longed to get off the beaten tourist track and started noodling around an idea for a business that would help travelers do just that. TripTrotting is an online platform that matches travelers with like-minded local hosts who want to show off their cities’ hidden gems. This seems to me a uniquely “GenY” need, this desire to connect with strangers who have common interests, and to make all experiences social ones. So hats off to Zheng and Shorman for founding a company that meets the needs of their own generation.
But before they started their company, they both had careers in investment banking—highly demanding jobs that kept them at their offices until the wee hours. Zheng describes it as “the best boot camp you can go through.” So when the two friends decided to start their company, they didn’t just simply quit their jobs. They quit investment banking and landed “normal” jobs that allowed them to leave the office by six, at which point they’d put in another few hours working on TripTrotting. The two were so accustomed to working long hours for someone else that working on their own business until midnight at the USC library was a piece of cake. I love it that that they used their careers in IB as a training ground, but knew when to get off the treadmill.
Lastly, I admire them for choosing the right investment partner—Golden Seeds, a firm that invests exclusively in female entrepreneurs and offers its portfolio companies not only capital and mentoring, but access to the other awesome entrepreneurs in its portfolio. I’m very much looking forward to watching this company’s progress!