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The Ticker

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The Ticker

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Baruch’s Blockchain club starts fresh 

Courtsey of Syed Samir

Baruch College’s new Blockchain club, announced on March 7, started recruiting new members this fall. The Ticker interviewed one of the co-founders, Syed Samir, to help Baruch students understand what his club is about.

Syed Samir and 2023 graduate Cristian Guerrero came up with the idea in the fall of 2022, opened and completed their registry applications in the spring and decided on a proactive approach this fall for the incoming class.

They decided to create the club after finding out other colleges like the University of Texas were planning to launch their Blockchain club. Finding a space for the student market here in New York, Samir noted that the “presence of blockchain incoming into the NYC market made it important for business students at Baruch [to] at least be aware and adapt.”

Currently, the club’s other executive board members include Eexecutive Vvice Ppresident Endri Troksi and Ttreasurer Nirmal Malhotra.

Blockchain technology is relatively new, defined as “a digital database or ledger that is distributed among the nodes of a peer-to-peer network,” according to Compared to the traditional recording methods of spreadsheets or databases, one’s inputted information would be distributed out to the blockchain and the info must be verified to be identical across all copies.

Along with new tech and financial lingo associated with cryptocurrencies comes anxiety and curiosity about how the emergence of these new innovations will impact our careers and potential investment opportunities.

According to Samir, the intention of this club is to educate, open discussions amongst those interested and develop written opinion pieces. The format of the club is, essentially, no format. He wants this first official semester to be discussion-based and has no plans scheduled for now.

He wants to “teach them what they want rather than force what they don’t want to learn.”

“[Blockchain technology] can symbolize the ability to do whatever you want without anyone holding you back,” Samir said. “Without any intermediary telling them what they can or cannot do.”

To facilitate this, he has two WhatsApp group chats open. One is for interested members, and the other is for members who are actively seeking to officially join. The first chat contains about 100 members, and with the latter, 10 to 12 members. Students are automatically added to the first chat if they express any interest, and Samir highly advised students to reach out.

In the chats, they text times and dates of where they are hanging out on campus and give out open invites for members to drop by.

His goal for this semester is to bring more guest speakers who have experience with blockchain across different financial sectors. He wants members to see “the light at the end of tunnel” and feel a strong presence from those in their respective industries.

The club hosted two general interest meetings last semester, one in collaboration with Baruch’s ISACA Cybersecurity Club. By the second GIM, he was able to gauge what type of majors and personalities were attracted to blockchain and is now in the process of creating promotional devices catered to this audience.

The difficulties they face are befitting of his description of the blockchain as “general, yet niche.” Blockchain is present in different forms across startups, the cryptocurrency space, venture capital and more. Depending on what a member is interested in, the applications and conversations will heavily differ, but an in-depth understanding of each sector is what makes it niche.

Additional misconceptions may include overestimations about the importance of coding knowledge necessary to join. They are primarily looking for those brave and willing to develop their opinions and write on them.

Reiterated, Samir states that this club is focused on “helping them build niche knowledge, writing opinion pieces on Blockchain, recognizing possible career choices on the industry paths through guest speakers to expand further understanding on Blockchain.”

Currently, the club is recruiting for a board member position as a marketer and an executive board position as a secretary. No experience is needed to join either position, and they are welcome to freshmen recruits as well. For both positions, they are seeking creativity and high executive functioning skills.

Samir indicated interested students can direct message him on Instagram or fill out a contact form on the club’s LinkTree.

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