HI, I'M FAIQUE!
About MeI graduated from Northwestern University in 2016 where I studied philosophy, business and entrepreneurship. I thought I wanted to go into finance out of college so I interned at firms like Discover Financial Services, Goldman Sachs, and Mesirow Financial. I also worked on a start up, Admit Hero, for almost 2 years. I enjoyed working on the start up a lot more and realized even though I liked traditional finance, I wanted a career at the intersection of technology, start ups and venture capital.
To make Admit Hero a reality, I had to teach myself how to program. I did this through a myriad of resources like actual classes, LinkedIn Learning, Youtube, Udemy, physical books, online communities, and lots of Stack Overflow and documentation. I also used similar resources to learn UI/UX design and how to use programs like Sketch.
Currently, I’m a consultant at Capco, a global management consulting firm focused on financial services, where I work on mostly digital, strategy, and capital markets projects. This site is just a space for me to share projects I’ve worked on and where my head is at.
Snap: The Wearables Opportunity
My sisters got me a FitBit for my 23rd birthday and it got me thinking about wearables. I realized that while they were extremely limited at the moment, wearables would inevitably become a huge part of our lives one day. As I started learning more about the space, I realized Snap - the company behind Snapchat - was positioning itself to be a player in the space, and I didn’t feel most people were aware.
Around this time, I was just starting my role as a consultant. I quickly became privy to the depth of analysis and quality of standard deliverables. I realized I could do this level of work, if not better, on my own - especially for a domain I was interested in. So I took it upon myself to build a deck, which ultimately became focused on Snap’s positioning in the wearables and augmented reality space.
Long story short: I ended up sending it to Evan Spiegel, the founder and CEO of Snap. He got back to me within an hour and agreed to meet! I flew out to Los Angeles to meet with him and we surprisingly had a lot to talk about. We talked for 45 minutes about a lot of things ranging from the purpose of Snapchat, wearables and augmented reality, what I wanted to do with my life and potential jobs. I ended up interviewing for the role of Executive Director of Snap Foundation, a foundation Evan decided to create to support youth, arts and education. Ultimately, the foundation’s board, mostly VPs at Snap, understandably wanted someone older for the role. It was a super cool experience to meet everyone and be considered for such an important and meaningful role. You can see the deck that I sent Evan here.
Admit Hero was the most fun I've ever had!
Throughout high school, I helped lots of younger friends and family members try to figure out their academic ambitions - like where to apply to college and how to write a personal statement. I realized that I often gave similar advice to students based on their interests and that there was likely an opportunity to scale this.
Admit Hero provided high school students a personalized feed of articles, summer opportunities, scholarships, and college profiles based on their interests. While most of these things exist on the internet, Admit Hero's real value was realizing that resources without guidance or context doesn't work. Subsequently, our articles were focused on helping students understand what other students with similar interests had done and how to tangibly pursue their interests. Want to learn how to build a website? Here's how another 16 years old learned! The goal was always to make students feel empowered.
I started it as an independent study project so I could dedicate class time for it and have someone hold me accountable. That summer, I secured funding from Northwestern to work on it full time instead of getting an investment banking or consulting internship. I hired student developers, tried to hire an experienced CTO, tried to outsource development overseas, and ultimately ended up teaching myself how to program. I stopped working on it because I realized it would take a long time for Admit Hero to get off the ground and that there were opportunity costs to me jumping into something so early in my life. I wanted to get exposed to more problems, learn more skills, meet more people, etc. before I one day consider doing my own thing again.
Zysty was an event-focused messaging app I thought of in an entrepreneurship class at Northwestern. It was the first time I got to flex my design skills. Recently, I decided to redesign the concept and present it for a job interview. Below are my updated mock ups. Having spent a considerable amount of time doing customer development for this idea, here are my thoughts on how this space might play out in the long term.
Zysty in 2017
As I think about my background in financial services and my desire to use technology to help empower people + education, I’ve started developing an interest in the student loans market. I started doing some research and came across an interesting opportunity to help banks more competitive as student loan providers when compared against upstart lenders like Social Finance (SoFi) and CommonBond. These Fintechs offer a completely different customer experience than traditional players like PNC, Discover, etc.
I emailed Kathryn Minshew, the founder and CEO of The Muse, about how they could approach banks - and even SoFi. Banks could work with The Muse to offer this as a value to their student loan holders. On the other spectrum, The Muse could even approach SoFi about outsource this part of their model since its not a core competency. She thought it was a fascinating idea but not something they had the business development bandwidth to support! They had actually explored a partnership with SoFi in the past too.
The Muse Deck
Pascal Coin Whitepaper Redesign
This was an incredibly random project but I ended up redesigning the white paper for a crytocurrency, Pascal Coin after reaching out to the community and learning where I could contribute. I actually redesigned the paper and all the graphics in PowerPoint. Ultimately, they didn't end up using the paper because we couldn't agree on a price but it's a work I am proud of!