How to Get Straight As in College and High School (Hacking School)


– Hey, what up world? Welcome to hacking the
system, it’s your boy Ian. And I’m here with my
good friend Ace, Dr. Ace. – Hello world. – So today’s show, we’ll be talking about how to hack school, and specifically, how to become a straight A student. I’m here with the smartest guy I know. Let’s get into it. Hey, what up world? It’s your boy, the made man. Welcome to Hacking the System, the show I teach you
how to make six figures by any means necessary,
while you’re still young. To create the lifestyle of your dreams, and hustle to greatness. Alright, so thanks for joining us today. So, I’m here, as I mentioned,
with my good friend Ace, who also works at IBM as well. And this guy is the smartest guy I know. He has both an MD and a
Computer Science degree. So Ace, welcome to the show. – Welcome, and thanks for
having me on your show. – Alright, so give us a
quick bio on yourself. – So, I was born here, in DC. Born and raised, so a native Washingtonian and like actually in the city of DC – [Ian] Actually in DC– – Not in the ‘burbs,
not Maryland, Virginia. So, I’m like a native,
like straight down in DC, down in Northwest, that area, that Northwest corridor of DC. So, I went to school, everything
for me has been in DC– – You actually went to
the same high school as Dave Chappelle and Warren Buffett. – [Ace] That is correct, Warren Buffett was also one of the former alumni of Wilson Senior High School. Dave Chappelle was there,
Warren Buffett was there, Jim Henson was nearby, but
he went to College Park. So, I came from a pretty
famous high school. – Okay, interesting. So, tell us about your high
school experience overall, ’cause I know you’re a very
smart guy, very bright. What was your experience
like in high school? – I would say very busy, because not only was I only
just full on in academics, but I was involved in a whole bunch of extra curricular activities. I was on the school newspaper, I was on the quiz bowl
team, the science bowl team, the programming team. – [Ian] Damn. – The math counts team. So, I was trying to get
all my extra curriculars ready for college. – [Ian] So, do you think
that was beneficial? – I think it was, because
it gave you, one thing, activities outside of school to focus on, and another thing, it
beefed up your resume even more for college. – Okay, so would you
say having a good resume with lots of extra curricular activities is helpful to somebody
applying to colleges? – Definitely, definitely,
because colleges tend to look sometimes even beyond the
SAT score and the GPA. They want to look at
what else are you doing, beyond just the academics. Are you falling back on any
extra curricular activities, and any extra curricular
activities you engage in, it’s only a bonus. – So, what kind of grades
were you getting in school? – Straight A’s. – Straight A’s? – Nothing less than an A. – Nothing less, right? – Nothing less. – Yeah, that’s the guy, right? – That was always the expectation. And that was not only an
expectation my parents put on me, because they’re super
strict Indian parents. They always want the best
out of all their kids. They trained us from a very early age that nothing less than an A. Always shoot for the sky. Always shoot for the stars,
not just the sky, the stars. – [Ian] The stars, okay. – Because if you miss the stars, at least you’ll land on the sky. – [Ian] Interesting. – So, that was our mentality,
just from the very beginning. Even from elementary school,
and I was like taking reading courses, math
courses, like very basic. I was like, reading every day. Reading and writing. My dad would make sure
I would be reading books on a consistent basis. I would be writing and
then I would bring back like book reports to him
and he would check them. – Wow, so he was checking
your stuff way back then. – Way back then, since elementary school. So, I carried that over
with me to high school, so that’s why I had all those study habits ingrained in me, when
I entered high school, so that’s why I was– – Now, your parents are
also professors, right? Or your dad is a professor. – My dad is a professor. My dad is a professor at Howard. He’s a physicist, and he’s also
a professor of mathematics. He has like a double degree
in mathematics and physics. – Interesting, okay. So, what kind of advice would you have for people who are
currently in high school? – I think in high school I would say that, definitely study, maintain a good GPA, but also be involved in
your activities at school. – So, when you say studying,
what exactly do you mean? Like what’s like action
steps, some actionable tips? – So, when I mean studying, I mean that when you go to class, make
sure that when you come home, you go over all your lectures, all the notes that you took for that day. Or if you didn’t take any notes, at least prop open a textbook,
read the chapter for that day and do all your homework. The first thing you do,
before you do anything– – Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. Can you go back again? I think some people probably missed that. – Yeah, I might have been
going super fast for you guys. Let me just slow it down for you guys. – [Ian] Slow mo for us. – Alright, so you come
home, straight from school. If you don’t have any other extra curricular activities
that day, you come home, straight from school and you right away start doing homework. Do your homework, open up your textbooks, open up your workbooks,
start doing your homework, and then not only that, look
over your notes for the day. So, if you had math class that day, or science class that day,
look over all the notes that you took that day in class. If you didn’t take any notes in class, what you should do is open the chapter that you’re covering currently in class, and read that chapter entirely. – Entirely. – Entirely. – Not skimming it, reading it. – No, read it. Read it, actively take notes
on that chapter, take notes. So, when I mean studying,
I mean active studying, like reading the chapters
out of text books, not out of like workbooks, or ebooks, or dummy guides, or anything. No, like go into your
textbook, read the textbook, take notes on it, and then you
have notes for the next day. And then, not only that,
that’s just day one of a new theme or a new
topic that’s starting. – So, during that process,
so you’re also reading ahead? – Yes, I’m also reading ahead. So, for example, if I
start a new semester, I make sure I get my books in early, because once I have my books down early, I start reading that chapter. I read the first chapter
right off the bat, as soon as I get a book. So, that’s why, when I’m
in class that first day, I’ve already read chapter one. – Interesting, interesting.
– Yeah. – That’s a big tip, I think most people, including myself back in
school didn’t really do. – That’s something that I picked up on maybe when I got around 10th grade, when the courses started stepping up in difficulty and complexity, I started to read ahead. Before, I was doing just
like probably everyone else, starting when the professor started. You want to start before the
professor or teacher starts. – [Ian] Professor starts. – Exactly. And you want to stay at least one lesson, or a couple lessons ahead of the guy. – Really? So, you actually like,
when you say lessons, like chapters or chapter sections ahead? – So, for math and science, chapters. – So, you’re one full
chapter ahead of the class? – Exactly, exactly, and
that came in to handy when I was taking advanced
placement courses, or AP courses, especially
for physics and for calculus. I would do all that stuff, so
I would do it a chapter ahead, so they were doing
differentiation in class, I was already on the
integral chapter learning on my own in free time. On the weekends or whatever. But on weekends, what I do is, when we’re talking about studying, I’m talking about
studying during the week. But on the weekends, try to tone it down, and at least keep one
day just where you don’t have anything to study or any homework. – [Ian] One day to yourself. – One day to detox and just relax, ’cause you don’t want to
burn yourself out too. High school is a marathon, not a sprint. – Right. Wait, so if you’re studying, so if you come back from school, you’re studying the textbook,
taking notes on that chapter, where do you find time
to go a chapter ahead? – So, the thing is to start early. – Start early, okay. – Start earlier in the
semester, get your books early and just start right away. – Because they kind of have
that, okay interesting. So, it’s kind of like your pre-season. – It’s kind of like my pre-season, my pre-gaming, whatever
you want to call it. You just get ready, before
the semester even starts. So, you’re putting in your reps in before the actual season starts. – Well, I think for
everybody out there at home, definitely take notes on that. That’s a big tip factor, right? ‘Cause I’ve been trying to tell my younger brother the same thing, that’s currently in high school. – Right. – And I’m trying to
tell him, you have to be a full chapter ahead. – Exactly, a full chapter ahead. – I’m trying to ingrain that in him. – Second tip is, don’t go for the PDFs, don’t go for electronic versions of books. Go get the textbook. I know the textbook is a little more, borrow the textbook, go to your library and get a textbook. A lot of libraries these
days carry the textbook. And libraries these days are not just for going in and browsing the internet. They actually still have books,
they still have books there. So, you can go in there, check out a book, and they have a lot of textbooks, like right on file, just check it out, and it’s a lot cheaper. You don’t have to go on
Amazon and buy a book, just go ahead. But stick to textbooks,
because I’ve found that I’ve done all my studying
just from textbooks. That’s carried me through high school, through undergrad, through grad. – So, what exactly is
wrong with PDFs or ebooks? – You can’t really take notes, and the thing is, I like
to sometimes take notes, sometimes in the margins, not literally. Or like I’ll have a book right there. You have something like. – Actually taking notes. – Taking notes and then you have something to carry around with you sometimes. If you’re eating lunch
somewhere or whatever, you have a book or something, a workbook. You’re taking notes, you have something to carry along with you. – [Ian] Interesting. – You’re not gonna lug
your Lenovo laptop with you to lunch or whatever to
take notes and study. So, textbooks have been a big boon, and have been a big part of my success. – That’s interesting. Alright, so while you were in high school, when did you start preparing for the SATs? – So, I started really early, I started from ninth grade actually. – Ninth grade? – Ninth grade, because I had just taken the PSAT in eighth grade, so when I took the PSAT in
eighth grade, I was like, “I gotta get a leg up on the SAT “because that’s the next step.” Basically, that’s the
first thing they look at. All the colleges look at your SAT score. – [Ian] Not your GPA, not that, the SAT. – The SAT, the SAT is
like the first criteria on their list they look at. If you break the minimum
on the SAT score to get in. So, once you match that score, then the next thing is the GPA. Then after that is everything else, the extra curriculars and stuff. But it’s basically SAT scores and GPA. That’s it. So, that’s why a lot of
your success in high school, and a lot of your success
that goes in to getting into college depends on
those first two points, the SAT score and the GPA. – Now, for me I find that the SAT is kind of more like an IQ test, ’cause there are people out
there who have horrible GPAs, but they’ll be just
smart by nature, right? Like they’re born smart and
they’ll do well on the SAT. So, for example, a friend
in college, Romaine, he didn’t really do much
work in school, right? But, he was super smart, like
he’d just come to a class, didn’t do the lab, didn’t do any homework, and just ace the test
just on instinct, right? Right, some people are kind of like that. I find that it’s like,
SAT’s kind of like your, I guess your IQ, while your GPA kind of measures your effort. Some people kind of, they put in effort, and they’ll do well with the GPA, but they may not be that
smart, with a high IQ. – I agree, I agree with that. And not only that, I would add to that that the SAT score’s basically a measure of how well you know the test. – [Ian] Really? – Yeah, so if you’re good
at practicing the SAT. Like basically, the SAT
doesn’t test your knowledge of reading comprehension,
or writing, or mathematics. No, it tests your knowledge of the test, of the rules of the test,
the sections of the test. So, if you’ve done enough
practice SAT tests on your own, or if you bought the SAT
book, like a Kaplan book, and you’ve gone through all those tests, those are usually the people who score the highest on the SAT. – Really, so it’s
possible to hack the SATs? – Exactly. – What kind of hacking tips
do you have to hack the SAT? – I would say that,
learn the question types, especially for mathematics I can say, because I got a perfect
score on the math portion. So, I can tell you that the math portion is just know the types of questions and just hammer those questions down. Even when you’re doing like homework or whatever, take a little break. – [Ian] When you say hammer,
how often are we doing it? ‘Cause for example, you
began in ninth grade right? – Right. – So it’s like two years,
three years of SAT practice? – Exactly, so it was just like every day. – Every day? – Every day for two years. – Wow. – I put in my reps, I put in my reps. – Wow, that’s insane. Every day for two years? – Every day for two years. Not weekends, just weekdays. – So, you come back, that’s crazy. So you come back. – You do your homework. – Do your homework, read a chapter ahead, then prepare for the SATs.
– Exactly. – Wow, that’s insane. – Days got a little hectic as I moved to 11th and 12th grade. In 12th grade, I had seven courses, all seven of them were AP courses. So, imagine how many
chapters I was reading a day. – Wow, interesting, interesting. That’s crazy. So, once you’ve done the SAT, what tips do you have in terms of applying for colleges, picking majors? – So, the next question
you want to ask yourself is do you want to stay close to home, or do you want to go outside of your area, your region of the country? So, for me, I wanted to stay
kind of close by to home, and plus my parents are, my dad especially is a professor here at Howard,
so it was convenient too. I had access to his domain. Sometimes I came a lot to him,
for if I needed some advice on like mathematics or physics. But I did all of that
stuff, I studied on my own, but even then, I would
come back to him and say, “Hey, there’s an interesting
problem I’m dealing with.” For that type of stuff, it’s important, for me to at least stay close to home. Now, some people might
be a little bit more adventurous and want to
go up North to Harvard, or go out West to Caltech, to Stanford. They want to seek more
prestigious universities, and that’s fine. They can do that as well. So, you want to get that in your mind, and from a very early point,
maybe around 10th grade. – So, were those schools
you kind of looked at, when you were applying for colleges? – No, I don’t think I had any
of those schools in my list. I had basically just
the local area schools, because I wanted to stay in the area. – Wanted to stay in the local, okay. – I wanted to stay in the area. And another thing is,
I wanted a full ride. I wanted a scholarship to get in. Because I don’t want to deal with debt, so many years down the road. – Right, right. – Paying off that debt. – Coming from somebody who just
paid off 60 grand in loans, I can totally understand. – Exactly, exactly. – So, for those who don’t know, Asad and I actually went
to undergrad together. – Yes, that’s right. – Both of us went to GW, the George Washington
University here in DC, right? So, tell us about your
experience in college. – So, the first thing was the
real eye opening experience was that I got the
scholarship to go to GW. So, I was initially thinking
of going to Maryland, and studying engineering. I was gonna do maybe
electrical engineering, or computer engineering. Not even biomed. Because they didn’t really have a biomed engineering program
at the time, at UMD. But they had like Biology of Engineering. Not the same thing, not
something I wanted to pursue. So, I was thinking, if I get into Maryland I’ll do electrical engineering
or computer engineering. Because even at that point,
I was thinking medicine, but I was thinking, here in the States, you’ve got to study something
before you go in to medicine. Elsewhere out in the West, you have to go, you can go directly into medicine, straight from high school. You have to take like a qualifying exam, but if you score high enough, you can go right in to med school. – So, when you say West,
do you mean West Coast, or Western world? – I mean East, so you
go Eastern Hemisphere, like India, China, even like Europe. In Europe, you can jump
right in to med school as a 17, 18 year old. – Okay, so, looking at
College Park, right? University of Maryland in College Park, and GW, George Washington University? – Actually, I wasn’t even
thinking about GW at the time, but I had heard that there
was a scholarship named after the president, President
Trachtenberg, at that time, so I decided to go ahead
and qualify for that because that scholarship was incidentally only for high scoring,
very academic DC students. I was a DC public school student, so I decided to go ahead and
sign up for the scholarship, and this was something that I had just, in the back of my mind
I wasn’t even expecting to get this scholarship,
I was like, “Okay.” It was something that my dad
had read in the newspaper, and told me to go in and sign up for it. Those days, people used
to read newspapers. Exactly, this was way back, man. – So, your dad helped you,
so you applied for this, and it was a full ride, right? – Full ride, $200,000. – $200,000 scholarship. – $200,000 scholarship. So, I went ahead and applied
to it, based on my SAT scores, and my GPA and my extra
curricular activities. I had four or five extra
curricular activities at that time, and this was at the end of 11th grade, going in to 12th grade. So, I went ahead and I
applied for that scholarship. I didn’t hear anything back from that, I was like, “I’m probably
out of the running. “They probably have someone
lined up with a scholarship. “So, I’m not gonna bother,
I’m just gonna focus “on finishing this year on a high note, “and getting in to maybe College Park.” So, I heard about it later on. I think my dad was like hinting that they’re already awarding the
scholarship to some folks, some students from the DC area. I was like, “Oh, that’s nice. “I probably didn’t get it. “They probably gave it to
someone from one of those “private schools in DC,
like Sidwell Friends, “or School Without Walls, not Wilson.” – [Ian] Yeah, yeah, the president schools. – The president schools, exactly. And then one day, my computer science, my AP computer science
teacher told me that, “Hey, Asad, we want you
to go to the library, “together with us,
downstairs to the library.” I’m like, “The library? “I mean, we’re in class right now, “we’re having like a test.” He’s like, “Don’t worry man,
just go to the library with us. “I want you to come too.” I was like, “Okay, yeah, are
we all going as a class?” He’s like, “Yeah, let’s all go.” – [Ian] Oh, the whole class? – The whole class went,
so I was like, “Okay.” So, we went dow to the library,
and the library was packed, and this library was
always like ghost town, there’s no one in the library, except for some kid watching
stuff on YouTube or whatever. Did they even have YouTube back then? – Probably in the early
days I think, yeah. – Early days, in it’s heyday. So anyway, we went down to the library, and then what tipped me
off almost immediately was I saw my parents
there too at the library. I thought, “What are my parents doing?” And my brothers are
there too and I’m like, “What are all these folks doing?” And then, all of a sudden,
everyone breaks out in applause. I’m like, “What is going on here? “Am I getting punked here?”
(laughing) I turn around and the mascot from GW, the colonial guy was there
with a big ass check, and he was like dancing.
– Oh wow (laughs). A big check? – A big check.
– Oh wow. – Is this Publisher’s
Clearinghouse or something? Whoa man. So, they just came and then
there was a representative from the Trachtenberg scholarship, a lady, she came in and then she
basically made the announcement in front of the whole
crowd and she was like, “So, we’re awarding
Asad a full ride to GW, “for a scholarship that’s
a little less than…” So, people were like,
“Okay, it’s not that much.” Then she said, “A little
less than $210, $200,000.” And people were like, “Whoa, $200,000!” And then I was like a celebrity for like a couple weeks at my high school. Everyone was like, “He is the
guy with the scholarship.” – That’s the guy with the scholarship. – So, I was getting pats on
the shoulder, high fives. So, upon getting that scholarship that I was like, “Okay,
GW’s not bad either.” “I’ll go to GW, I’ll check it out.” Beause people were asking me, “Are you still gonna go to College Park?” “Because you were all about
going to College Park, becoming a terrapin for
life and everything.? I was like, “No man, a full ride, “I’m not gonna say no to a full ride.” – That’s nice. So, GW gave you a full ride. Did College Park give you anything or? – No, they just gave me admission there. They told me that basically, they’ll monitor my
performance for one semester, and then they’d give me
some kind of scholarship. – The same thing happened with me, right. ‘Cause I also got into GW, I didn’t get a full ride
like you did, right? They only gave me the half
scholarship, half tuition. But they kind of gave
that to several people. But the Presidential Scholarship, I think that’s only what,
four people they gave it to? – They gave it to, yeah,
like four people that year. – [Ian] Out of all the people who applied and got in to GW, only
four people got that, and you were one of those? – I was one of them, yeah. – That’s called greatness people, that’s called greatness. – Thank you.
– Alright, yeah. So, you applied and went to GW. So, tell us, walk us through
that first semester in college. – Yeah, definitely. So, I joined up at GW in 2006, and then I signed up to
do biomed engineering, because at that time I was thinking, “Okay, I’m gonna do something like “engineering and medicine. “So, that’s what I’m gravitating towards. “I want to do a field that incorporates “both of those fields.” Because I was a real good bio student, and I had good grades all
around, in all subjects, but that was a subject that I
was particularly close to me, and I wanted to go into medicine. – Has that always been
something you wanted to be since you were a kid? – I think I wanted to be an inventor, that’s what I wanted
from a very young age. Like my idols were like
DaVinci and Thomas Edison. I also wanted to invent
something, you know. I wanted to do something ground-breaking, life-changing for people. That’s what I wanted too. But I don’t know, somewhere down the line, Edison entered into that
equation, so I was like, “I like bio, I want to learn
how the human body works I want to cure diseases,” so I was like, “Okay, let’s do something
that does medicine “and engineering while keeping
close to the innovation “aspect, inventing something new.” So, that’s why I turned
into a biomed engineering and the first year was just all these Intro to Engineering courses and stuff. I met Ian, in fact, on the
first day on one of those Intro to Engineering courses. – Yeah, so the first day, I
think it was in the lab, right? – In the lab–
– The CS lab, right– – In the CS lab, yeah. – And the rest is history,
guys, here we are. Working in the same company.
(laughing) – So yeah, at GW, and
then at the same time, in biomed engineering, not only do you have to do
all those engineering courses, you have to do some of those medicine, pre-med type of courses
like organic chemistry, Chem 2, and so forth, and biophysics, you have to study for those courses. So, I was able to do all the
biomed courses in three years. So, I had basically one year
left over to do just like– – Wait, wait, wait. So, did any of the AP classes
you take transfer over? – Yeah, a lot of those AP
classes transferred over. That’s a good question. That allowed me to finish
all of the biomed courses in three years instead of four years. So, I had AP Computer
Science translate over. I didn’t have to take the C++
class in one of the courses. I didn’t have to take, I think it might have been the C class. Calculus, I didn’t have
to take Cal 1 or Cal 2. (laughing)
Knocked that out. Not Physics 1 and Physics
2, knocked that off. – Oh, wow, okay. So, technically it was possible that you graduated in three years. – Exactly, it was technically possible to graduate for three years, but I had a scholarship for four years, so I had to stay there for four years. – Oh, okay. So, what’d you do in that last one year? Did you just take lab classes, or just take classes for grad school or– – So, I did a minor, so I
did three minors (laughs). I did a minor in physics, in bio physics, and computer science.
– Wow, okay. – Yeah, and incidentally,
the physics courses and the biophysics courses
overlapped quite a bit, so if you’re able to do all
the courses for biophysics, you essentially did all
the courses for physics. Minus like Physics 3 or Atomic Physics. So, I was able to do that and
then Computer Science, yeah. I was already at that
point where I was like building up my programming background, and this would come in
handy for the next step in the journey when I actually went from biomed engineering to computer science, did a Masters in Computer Science. – Okay, so prior to jumping there, what are some life hacks
you have for college? Right ’cause college is
different from high school. – Yeah, definitely, it’s a
whole different ball game and you have less of the hand holding that you have in high school. So, now the professors are
not really teaching there, they’re basically telling
you what you need to study. They basically assign you
pages and chapters to read, and tell you to go out and study the exam is in two weeks or in a
week, in some instances. Go out and do it. So, again, that textbook hack
that I told you guys about came in handy in college too because I just went out and got the textbook and then started reading
right away the textbook. That helped me out a
lot, especially for those pre-med courses like
biophysics, organic chemistry, that helped a lot, it helped a ton. For the engineering
courses, what I did was, I had a brother in electrical engineering so he had a lot of electronics workbooks and stuff like that, Schaum
series, and stuff like that. So, I was able to borrow
some of those books from him. Not borrow, he’s my brother,
I basically took them. (laughing) I basically just worked
through those workbooks, and did all those
circuits, electronic stuff, and yeah, just worked on that,
anytime I had homework to do, I did my homework in addition
to doing all that stuff. – I mean, so this seems
like lots and lots of work. Where did you get the motivation, the feel to put in all this effort? – Two things. One thing, I had a scholarship, and I had to maintain the scholarship, maintain a minimum GPA
going from year to year because if you didn’t maintain at least, I know it was above a three. It had to be like a 3.2 or something. If you didn’t maintain a 3.2,
that scholarship was gone. No warning. One semester minus a 3.2,
you’re without a scholarship. And at a place like GW
where the tuition’s like 60 grand a year, I mean, that’s a big hit. (laughing) So, that’s a big motivation right there. The second motivation was a
personal motivation of mine is that I always shoot for the stars, I always shoot for the stars. And that’s why I have to get As. I can’t get anything less than an A. Anything less than an A is failure to me. (laughing)
– I like that. – So, that was something, that was a personal
pressure I put on myself. Even my parents weren’t putting
that much pressure on me because they knew that I
was dealing with a lot of hard heavy-hitting courses. So, they’re like, “Okay,
even if you get like a 3.5 “or above, that’s good”. 3.5 is a good GPA; for
me, no, it isn’t good. I wanted to hit it even harder. So, that’s why I went ahead
and continued the same studying habits that served
me well in high school, made me be a valedictorian in high school, and got me the scholarship
that I wanted too. – Nice, nice. That’s lots of deep
information right there. – [Asad] That’s a lot of deep information, and it sounds like a lot of work, but it’s possible when you
take it one day at a time. – Okay, yeah, so you
kind of break it down. So, you kind of mentioned that in college, they don’t really teach. – They don’t teach, exactly. – Yeah, and I kind of
experienced that as well, right, because we had the same classes. And for those who don’t know, right, this guy is almost the main
reason why I graduated (laughs). This guy kind of carried
me through college because I was struggling
in engineering classes. So, me and some of my other
close friends, Sartag, right, me and him basically became
friends with this guy. And this guy would just sit there with us, show us how to solve these
problems, tutor us, coach us, and he just basically helped
us get through the classes. So, this guy was the best wingman ever. (laughing)
– Exactly. I think I remember on certain
instances when I was basically tutoring the whole
class of our classmates. I was tutoring you and Sartag, and then some other engineering
guys walked in the class like I was giving a lecture or something. I was like, “What is this? I’m
giving a lecture for free?” (laughing) But yeah, I find that if you’re
teaching a certain concept, something that’s difficult
for you to master yourself, if you teach it to a
classroom full of people, you tend to learn a lot more, and that kind of hones
your skills even more. – Now, what advice I kind
of have from my perspective, right, from not being the smartest guy in my engineering class– – But he was pretty smart. – But, I mean, I was more
kind of street smart, more of a hustling smart in a way. So, for people asking me, how do you become friends
with smart people? Let’s say you’re out there
in a class and you want help. – Right. – Like you can’t just go
up to the smartest person in the class and be like,
“Hey, let’s work together.” (laughing)
Like it’s not that easy. You have to kind of
provide some kind of value. So, I think with me,
what I kind of did was always had kind of like a big brother, Sayid, our friend, right? – Okay. – And Sayid was one year above me. I think we met, it was sophomore year when we kind of began doing this, but I was a sophomore and he was a junior. But Sayid would help me out
by getting me his old books, his old class notes, his old
exams, old homeworks, whatever. And I would use that to
kind of practice, right? But I didn’t know how to solve this stuff. So, I came to Asad like, “Hey! I have the last year’s exam, right, “and the test is coming up in a week. “Do you want to work together on this?” (laughing) And that’s how we kind of
began working together a lot. Because at first, I noticed that, I think it was me, or
Sartag, or somebody else, but we kind of had to win you over. Because you can’t just
be helping everybody in the class out on their homework. – I had a lot of other courses going on– – Right, right, so we
had to kind of provide some value to you and I think
the value I brought was, I had just old exams, old notes, that we could use to
practice for the tests. So, what other advice
do you have for people out there who want to become friends with smart people like you in class? – I think just be approachable. Just walk up to them. Don’t be shy, just walk up to them, and then work on like a, if
it’s homework assignment, or a class project. Class projects are great for that because that’s like your first
exposure to that person. You guys are working together, like brain to brain on an
assignment, very important. – The first time I was
actually in the lab, we were doing some labs– – Exactly, lab exercises helped me, labs are where most people hit
off friendships right there, when they’re working together trying to get this damn lab to work. So, yeah, I think that’s where we met too. I met a lot of our other
classmates in lab as well, worked a lot in lab, and
that’s what translated over into studying together
on tests and so forth. – Is there anything about college you didn’t like in particular? Besides the professors
and how they taught? – I think, yeah, that was
big portion I didn’t like, and that was a big shock to
me because I was thinking the same thing would carry
over how high school, that these guys are professors, I know they’re researchers too, but part of their job is to teach too, but these guys weren’t teaching. They were basically just
writing the first part of a problem on the board, and saying, “Okay, you do the rest of this, “and this’ll be on the test.” But they haven’t really
basically explained to us how to carry out this problem, so they kind of left you
out in the woods somewhere trying to figure it out on your own. That was one aspect of that. Another thing is sometimes,
in college especially, I felt like maybe if you’re not part of a lot of extra curricular activities, other outside activities, you’re kind of off on your own, studying on your own in the dark. You don’t know what you’re
doing in the right way, so it was a good thing
that I met people like Ian, and other people in our engineering class where we were able to collaborate together on a lot of stuff. – Yeah, because with me,
really my first year, I struggled because I was just
kind of studying on my own. It wasn’t until I began
meeting other people and studying together
that I began doing better. – Exactly, yeah. – Actually, in The 48 Laws of Power, a book by Robert Greene, he
has a concept called that, it’s not good to be in
isolation by yourself. – Exactly. – It’s better to be out
there in front of everybody in the open, I mean, in the center, and hear people talking about you, then to be in isolation because
when you’re in the center you’re in touch with the communications with what’s being spread around. So, if you know, “Hey!
Everybody in this class “has their own exams,
that’s why they’re acing it, “and I’m bombing this class. “I should probably find
the old exams too.” So, me, I was kind of out of
sync with the class right, because people, the main
issue was I was a commuter. I was staying off campus, I was still staying with my family. So, I would take the metro
every single day about an hour from Silver Spring to DC. After a while, I’m like, “Oh, people who are staying on campus “are kind of sharing information
that I’m not privy to.” – Right, exactly, kind of out of the loop. – Yeah, I was out of loops. The biggest hack I had to overcome was I had to become privy to that. What helped me was joining NSBE, which was National Society
of Black Engineers. – Okay.
– Right, so I joined NSBE, and from there they
basically had helped me with that, old books, old exams, but then the president
of NSBE put me in touch with somebody he knew in his class who was in the same major I was doing. So, he introduced me to Sayed, who kind of became my big brother, right. – Oh, so that’s how you met Sayed. – Yeah, so that’s how I met Sayed. I was like, yeah, same mojor. So, he kind of taught me, “Hey, don’t take this class. “This professor sucks. “He won’t teach you
anything, and he’ll fail you. “Take this class because this
professor is a better teacher “or here, why don’t you wait, “don’t take this class right now “take it next semester because
it’ll be a better professor.” So, different hacks like that, he kind of helped navigate me, and was basically my GPS
going through college. – Nice, that’s very awesome. – So, you finished undergrad.
– Mmm-hmm. – Then you went to grad school right? – Exactly. – [Ian] Tell us about your
grad school experience. – I was initially not even
planning to go to grad school. I was planning to go
straight into med school because I had taken the MCAT exam maybe at the end of my third
year in biomed engineering, so I also got an awesome
score on the MCAT. But even then, for some reason, I didn’t have my mind
made up on going into pursuing a career in medicine. I was like, “I’m a good programmer, “I’ve done a lot of programming
work in biomed engineering.” In fact, my senior design project, I basically created a software that did a two-dimensional model of
ventricle action potential. That got me a really high grade on the senior design project. – That sounds complicated. – It does, and it was as complicated. Again, it was an example of things to come later on in life where
I was doing basically stuff that I had no training in, and I had basically learned
from scratch on my own. So, I’ll get into a little bit deeper on how to master things like that. But basically I did that, so that kind of spurred the, made the gears work in
my mind thinking that, “Okay, programming is a good option too. “I can do maybe a year of programming “because I’ve done all
these courses in GW. “I’ve basically done a
minor in Computer Science. “I already have a leg
up on Computer Science.” So, that’s why I went to Howard, and I did a Master’s in
Computer Science there, and I was able to complete in one year. So, that means one
semester of five courses, and a second semester of five courses. – Wait, so you got your
Masters in Com Sci in one year? – In one year from Howard University. – Because the classes
you took prior to that? – Because of classes
I took in GW, a minor. – Oh, so they transferred
it over like that? – Exactly, the CB class, the C++ class– – Oh interesting, alright. – So, they were able
to, and not only that, they were able to give
me a scholarship too based on my performance. So, I had a scholarship going to Howard– – So, you’ve been going to
college for free pretty much. – Pretty much (laughs). I was able to go to Howard,
complete that in one year, then I did a Master’s thesis
on a cyber security project. Once I finished that, then
by that time I was like, “Okay, the only way to go is up. “So, let’s go to med school after this.” So, I still had my MCAT
score I had saved up from third year of biomed engineering. So, I basically used the same score again, applied to a bunch of
different medical schools, but again, I wanted to stay close to home, that’s why I stayed around at Howard, and did med school over
there for four years. – Was that free too? – They gave me some scholarship on it, but they don’t give you
the whole shebang (laughs). So, I also had some my parents
help me out as well too. A combination of scholarship money, and my parents funding me as well. – Did you have any student
loans from our school? – No, no, no student loans because I didn’t take out any loans. My dad was like, “I’m going
to help you to the point “where you don’t have
to take out any money. “All the money you make after
med school will be your own. “You don’t have to use
it to pay off any loans.” So, my parents are a big boost of support. That was a plus of staying at home. If I hadn’t stayed at home I would be off in some other state. I don’t know how my
parents could’ve helped me in that aspect.
– Right. Alright, so you said you
applied for med school, your MCAT from one year what was– – Mmm-hmm. – What was that experience
like with the MCAT compared to the SAT? – It was another beast of an exam. For starters, the exam
itself was tough, I mean, it’s an eight to nine our exam, or it might be even less now. They basically changed the format, but when I took it it was
a very, very long exam. We had a written portion, a
biological sciences component, physical science– – [Ian] Wait, eight to nine hours? – Yeah, and then, that’s
kind of like on par for the types of standardized exams you have to take in med school
for your licensing exams, your step one and your step two, they’re like eight, nine hour exams. – [Ian] Wow. – Yeah, imagine that, that’s
like a marathon right there. So, that’s another test that’s basically it tests how much you know about the test. It’s testing you how
well you know the MCAT. – So, how do you practice
for a nine hour exam? – You don’t do it and one day, you don’t do it in one week, you don’t do it a month. You do it over a period of years. Except for this exam, especially the MCAT, I started studying for I
think around second year of biomed engineering. So, I was doing all these
engineering courses, and studying for the MCAT. – So, under that you’re
practicing for the MCAT. – Exactly, I was studying
for the MCAT as well, and basically like I didn’t
have a summer vacation I was studying for the exam. I think I went to India after second year, and then after that I
haven’t gone to India since. And finishing up these
engineering courses too because I finish them up in three years, but that’s still a lot of courses in three years I had to finish, in addition to all the
MCAT studying I had to do. So, I got that out of the way, took the MCAT, got a good
score and everything, and based on that, that
score came in handy when I finished in Master’s
and I applied for med school at Howard and they looked at the score, and they’re like, “That’s good enough.” – You got your Master’s
in Computer Science. – Yes. – Biomedical Engineering
was your undergrad. – Undergrad, exactly. – Then you went to medical school. – Then I went to medical school. – So, kind of just
multi-dimensional doctor. – Exactly, like the
ultimate doctor engineer. (laughing) – And I think I was in
DC at like an event, like a meet up event that
Ian invited me out too. So, I met a couple of engineers there, so I was basically going
over to my background as an engineer, as a doctor. So, they were like, “You’re Indian and you’re
an engineer and a doctor? “You’re like every Indian parent’s dream.” (laughing)
– Was this the IBM Meetup? – Yeah, I think it was the IBM Meetup where we always have a lot
of grad students come in and science students who are
trying to get a job basically. – Wow, that’s crazy. Alright, so, you got your MD, right. What was that process like? – The first two years were okay, because they were
basically like undergrad, like high school and so forth, basically just studying and taking tests, studying and taking tests. So, no problem for me. Around the third year is when I was like, “What is this? This is
completely different.” Where you basically had to
go to the hospital all day. You had to go from like seven to sometimes if you are on your surgery
rotation seven to eight, seven to nine, or sometimes
you were like on on call, so you came in at seven
in the morning one day, and you left the next day
at like eight, nine o’clock. So, you’re on rotation, so when it’s like July or your third year, that’s when it starts. It starts early too and
it ends late third year, and there’s no summer vacation. – You’re working in the
hospital the whole time. – Working in the hospital
rotating through different, no, it’s a clinical
rotations of third year. – Is that prior to residency? – Yeah, residency is after
your graduate from med school. So, I went through all that. I think I did Internal
Medicine, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, OB GYN, Surgery. – So, you have to do all
that to graduate with the MD? – Exactly, you have to do
all that in your third year. That’s in one year of med school. – So, for example you can receive babies? – That’s your final exam for OB GYN, you have to deliver a baby
with its ugly ass placenta to graduate from, or to complete OB GYN. So, I was able to deliver a
baby and deliver a placenta. I was lucky to not have passed out nor have vomited in the same room. But I had to go home and take a shower. (laughing) – So, what other tests did you
have to take to get your MD? What other stuff in the
hospital where you doing? – You have to take your normal tests. So, in the first and second years it’s just like all the tests
that the Howard University Med school professors
are preparing for you. Third year comes around, you’re taking nationalize tests, you’re taking what are called the NBMEs. So, these are like National
Board Medical Examinations that you take for each rotation. So, example if you take 3
months of Internal Medicine, at the end of the three months
you take an exam, an MBME, and this is incidentally the same exam that every other med school student is taking across the country, so it’s standardized results, and there’s no curve or anything. What you get is what you get. And that’s the same thing that I follow for all these rotations. So, not only was I in the
hospital from morning to night, I had to come home and study too, and if there was time
left over, sleep and eat. (laughing)
So, that was insane. And then I wasn’t really
a fan of those hours, I wasn’t really a fan of that set up because I was more of the
studious type of lifestyle. I had to study, go to
class, take the exams, and then I had time on the weekends. – So, for example, you
mentioned you do like psychiatry was one rotation you did? – Yeah, psychiatry. – What kind of stuff
were you doing for that? Were you like diagnosing people like Freud or something like that? – So, that’s more
psychology what Freud was. But basically what I did was I basically went out to
saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, and I think it’s in Southwest DC, so I went out over there, and basically was there
from Monday to Friday just attending to patients. I would go along with a
psychiatrist inside of a room Psychiatrist is taking his history, and I taking my notes too as well. – So, what exactly is psychiatry? How does how is that
different from psychology? – So, a psychiatrist can actually
prescribe you medication, and psychologists cannot prescribe you. They can kind of diagnose you more or less if you have depression
or bipolar disorder. – So, were you doing stuff
like what’s that book the DSM? – DSM exactly. So, I was using that book. I was actually reading
that book cover to cover to pass that exam just like NBMEs– – For your exams?
– Yeah. – Surprisingly, I’ve actually
read the book as well. – Oh awesome. – Just kind of as like, hey, because I was reading some
stuff about psychology, and disorders and stuff, right, and I’m like, “Hey,
maybe I have a disorder “or maybe I know somebody
who has a disorder.” I didn’t really read the book, I kind of skimmed the book, right. I was just kind of like
going through it going like, “Hey, interesting book.” It kind of taught me some
stuff about people in general. For example, 4 out of 10
people are sociopaths, right? – Oh. – So, that means almost anywhere you go, whether it’s school or work, there’s going to be a sociopath
you have to interact with. And I’m like, “That’s interesting.” – That would explain a lot
of my interactions this year. (laughing) So yeah, that was like
just one of the rotations I had to go through in third year, and then by the time
you get to fourth year, then it’s all electives. So, the electives are
based on what residency you want to pursue after med school. So, I was initially thinking about doing oncology and internal medicine. So, right away I would have to opt for all the internal medicine electives like oncology, cardiology,
GI, and so forth. So, I think I picked
endocrinology, oncology, cardio, and some other like rotations. I think I did a radiology rotation as well because radiology is very important too for any rotation in Internal Medicine. You got to interpret– – Some of the stuff you
were doing in med school. This is what I mean, this
guy is a smart dude man. All this and computer
science together, right. – Yeah. – Alright, so after you
finish medical school, what was the next step in your progression with career life? What happened after that? – So, if I would have
followed the game plan I would have gone to residency, I would have gone to residency, then did fellowship, and then
become an intending physician, and then I would be working
basically in the hospital most of the time, 80% of the time, and 20% of the time in
the clinic, outpatient. But I think it’s something
that I was born out of, something that happened even when I was applying for med
school or doing the MCATs. I wasn’t really interested
in the clinical aspect. I wanted to go into the
Innovation and Technology aspect of medicine. So, that kind of made me hesitate when I was applying for residency, and ultimately I didn’t
really apply for residency. I finished med school and I was like, “No, I don’t want to do clinical medicine. “I don’t want to work
in a hospital all day. “I want to actually be
out there in the field “inventing treatments that then doctors “are gonna use to improve
patient outcomes.” So, that’s why I just
started to search for these types of positions in
my biomedical engineering, or these types of medical
innovation type positions, Medical Technology positions. So, I was searching for a while. That was kind of like one of
the setbacks I would think if we would get to the
section on setbacks, I think that was a personal setback for me because I was always at the
top of my class and everything. I had everything basically handed to me, but that was handed to me on
the basis of all the hard work and the hours I put in, the reps I put in. But then, for the first time, I saw all my classmates
go off into residency, and then they would become
doctors in a couple years. And here I was, I went
through the whole process, nine years of study and I
wasn’t a doctor technically. I had done all the licensing exams, but they wouldn’t consider
me a doctor doctor per say because I haven’t done residency. But yet, I was convinced
I was confident in myself that the next step I’m about to take is going to be even better than
the step that I left behind. That I can do much better than just working in the hospital as a clinician. – Let’s say, how long
is that path in terms of going after med school? The Residency is how long? – So, let’s take internal
medicine for example, surgery is a whole different ballgame. So, Internal Medicine is
three years of residency. Then that’s like depending
on the fellowship, your specialization, if you
want to do cancer research, or– – That’s extra you have
to get into, right, extra money you have to bear? – So, you get paid, so that’s a job. You get paid as a resident. You get paid like almost minimum wage. So, you get paid 45 to 50k a year. – [Ian] Wow, for three years. – So, that’s like every year you get paid, so for 3 years I think
it goes up slightly. So, for example, it’s like 49K one year, 50K second year, 51–
– Why is it so low? There’s just so much supply? – I think that’s part of the
problem in healthcare, yeah. – That many people who want to be doctors? – Yeah, these are people
who want to be doctors, but they’re working almost
close to minimum wage and so many hours. But they’re doing so much
good work in a hospital, but not being compensated for it. – I thought there was, there
weren’t that many doctors that wanted to work as doctors. There weren’t that many
people wanting to be doctors. – No, there are a ton of people because what’s happening is you’re
having like an over saturation of people going into the medical field. Where now they’re not even
that many residency spots. The year that I was
applying for residency, there are 11,000 medical school graduates who went without a residency
spot, 11,000 people. Imagine graduating from med school, you don’t even have a job after that. People did in four years, you have almost close to
$150, $200,000 of debt. – That was at that school? Where was that? – Nationwide.
– Nationwide? – Nationwide, 11,000 people
went without a residency. – They go elsewhere? They go abroad? – So, they wait, they
take a transition year where they’re doing research, and then they come back again
and apply for residency, or they do like an NPH. – Were they turned down
based on their score? Or based on what?
– I think scores. Scores is one thing and research. – Scores and research.
– Scores and research, and what med school you went to. It’s kind of like, what do you say? Based on the type of med school you go to you have an easier chance
of getting into residency. So, if you go into the
top tier of med schools, it’s easier to get a top tier residency. – So, you applied to the hospital or you applied somewhere else? – To the hospital. Every hospital doesn’t have a residency. – So, it’s basically a job application? – It’s a job application, exactly, and you go on an interview, and it’s like an group interview. So, I applied to some hospitals
in the Baltimore area, so I basically went over
with these med school guys, and then all these guys were there. And it was like a group interview. They were going around the
room introducing ourselves, and they were talking about the
different programs they had. Your normal day to day schedule, and you were basically there
from morning until afternoon, and that was your interview. – That’s crazy.
– Yeah, that is crazy. – Alright, so I think
that was the time where me and you kind of began talking again because I know when you
went to medical school you were pretty much buried in books. – Exactly, I was basically M.I.A. right? – Yeah, he was M.I.A. for
like four years almost, right. Then we ended up meeting how again? I think I texted you or you called me, or something like that. – I think around that time
I might have switched phones or something, so you didn’t
have my phone number, so you sent me a message on LinkedIn, and you’re like, “Hey,
what’s your new phone?” – Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, then I knew from there you wanted to make career switch. – Exactly. – So, let’s say you had
gone on to be a doctor. What was the expected
income you’d have per year? – I think, for me, I wanted
to go into internal medicine, so I think right off the
bat I would be making over a 100k, maybe 150k. – [Ian] That’s good, just that? – Just that, so that’s
without specialization. If you specialize, they say, I don’t know how much of it is factual, but they say 250 to 300k
for like a specialist. A specialist meaning like
an oncologist, cardiologist, kind of like on the higher end. – [Ian] Specialize or not to specialize? – My plan was to specialize. Because I knew that I would just be making like 100, 150k max, that’s it. If I did no specialization. If I just did general internal medicine. – How do you specialize? – That’s fellowship, that’s
another job that you do. Fellowship.
– How long is that? – That depends. If it’s cardiology, it’s three years. If it’s oncology, it’s three years. – So, six years after, six extra years. – Yeah, five, six years
after med school, yeah. – Okay, interesting, crazy. – But you’re getting paid, you’re not getting paid like– – Basically like an average
doctor who’s generalized makes like 150k or so.
– Average. – Average, if you specialize
you said 250, 300. – Yeah, 250 to 300. I think some cardiologist go up to 400k, but not all, that all depends. There’s a lot of factors. The hospital you’re working in, the amount of research you’ve
already done, and so forth. That also plays a role. – Does the hospital pay you? Because I know some people you mentioned get paid per surgery, for example. – Exactly, so those are surgeons. So, I’m talking solely
about Internal Medicine, which is a non-surgical specialty. For surgery it’s a lot more
years after med school, but it’s a lot more pay, and then when you become a surgeon and you’ll become specialized. I had a surgeon, an oncologist who I worked alongside in med school, he was a surgeon at Harvard
University Hospital. This guy was coming in doing
like breast resections, taking out cancers, taking out tumors, and he was making $8,000 per procedure. One day he had six
procedures and made 48k, and he walked home happy.
(laughing) – So, I find that to be kind
of a bad model though right, because this man presented
this for my family. Like doctors incentivize to
want to do more procedures because I know my younger brother, he went to John Hopkins because he had some kind of heart defect or
I don’t know what it’s called like a murmur or whatever, right, and the doctors wanted
to opt to operate on him. My mom was like, “Hell no.” – Without doing any
diagnostics, doing any labs– – I mean, there were multiple trips. They went there to John Hopkins, right, because we were back
in Columbia, Maryland, but they referred us to John Hopkins because it’s like the best or whatever. And the doctors wanted to,
they were adamant about it, doing surgery on my younger brother. I think he was around two years old. – Wow, that’s concerning. – And the side effects of this were like he’ll be like, I don’t
know, like, I guess, what’s the term for it? He basically won’t be normal anymore. – Side effects of the procedure? – Yeah, side effects after
they do their procedure because they’ll do some
stuff, I dont know. – Wow, so there’s no guarantee that the procedure would even work. – Right, so basically
he would be worse off, but apparently he would have
a chance to live, right. So, my mom was like, “Uou know what, no, “I’m not doing this. “What’s the point of doing this “if he’s going to be
disabled for his whole life?” So, she said no, but then we had to do annual visits every single year. My mom was like, “We’re
just going to do the whole “just not do anything, right. “I don’t trust you guys
because it seems like “you guys are just doing
this for the money.” Fast forward ten years later, he’s still perfectly
fine, no issues, nothing. – Exactly, no procedure necessary. – The doctor was like, “You
know what, I messed up.” – That’s not very uncommon. – You’re playing with
somebody’s life here. It felt like the doctor
was just doing this because he was trying to get paid. – Yeah.
– Because he was like, “Hey, maybe I have this
debt I have with my family, “maybe I have to pay student loans, “maybe I have to buy this
new Lambo,” I don’t know. “So, let me just take these people “through this conveyor belt, “and do as many operations
as I can to get paid.” So, how does that work
in the medical field? – Exactly and you did a
perfect allusion to that. The fact that a lot of doctors are dealing with the stress of paying
off their student loans, and also they just want the money too. Like if you have a doctor who’s
making $8,000 per procedure, of course the incentive is
there to go for the surgery even before going any other– – Right, right, because
that’s basically kind of like, I would expect that more
in something like sales because me and you both
work in sales, right. – Right. – Because we get paid on commission. Because sometimes you
want to close a deal, and have the customer buy something, and it may not be the
best product for them, but you’re like, “I have bills to pay man. “I have a family to feed.”
(laughing) – So, you’re putting your
interests above the customer. The doctor is putting his interests above those of the patients. – But I feel like in sales or in software, it’s kind of understandable, but when you dealing with people’s lives, it’s totally different. You can’t really have a cut throat sales almost school for Boss Street model. Something like healthcare– – Life and death is
paramount every day, so yeah. – Anyway, getting back on topic. (laughing) – Alright, so that was the idea. So, after med school you ended
up working at IBM, right. – So, I ended up working at IBM in grade in huge part thanks
to this guy over here. – Yeah, so it’s kind of ironic
how that works out, right. So, this guy helped me through college, then IBM had a job opening, right. Me and you were talking, I’m like, “I was thinking about
bringing people to IBM.” Because I basically get
paid five grand per person IBM hires that I refer.
– That’s correct. – I was thinking of
all these other people, I’m like, “Hey, I was
talking to you right now, “you think of Com Sci.” Because I still have this
mind of you as a doctor, and we were looking more
for like engineers type, we were looking for sales engineers. I’m like, “Hey, you’re actually
the smartest guy I know.” And so I think I was like, “Hey, do you know Sparko
Hadid, or whatever?” And you’re like, “No,
but I’ll check up on it.” (laughing) And I basically sent you the job listing, the job description, right, we met. I kind of walked you through
the right things to say, the right stuff too. I basically gave you like all
the stuff we usually work on. I think it was like, what, over
the course of a month or so you applied or–
– Yeah. I think it was in February
you told me about it or maybe in March and then I applied– – That, this was last year. – Last year, and then I applied to it, and then you basically got me
involved in the email chain with the higher guys in command. – So, I basically, once
I kind of coached him up, I brought him in and took
him straight to the director. So, he basically went
through the back door. – Exactly. – He didn’t apply on
the website or whatever. This is why it helps
to know people, right. This is why I bring some value too, right. I may not be the smartest guy in the room, but, you know, I have some social capital. So, basically I brought
you into the director, and you went for interviews, like two interviews or one interview? – So, I basically interviewed
first with the director, where he basically called
me on my home phone, and I talk to him. Then I talked to one of the managers who worked underneath him in
the same analytics department, talked to him over the phone, and then that set up
an in person interview with one of the engineers on the team. So, this happened off site, I interviewed with him, and then that led to a demo presentation that I had to do on-site in front of not just the manager,
not just the director, but a couple of the engineers on the team. And then after that I met
with the sales manager directly involved with
the healthcare accounts, that Healthcare division under which I would be working. – That’s kind of the connection, right. – Five interviews. – You’re probably saying
what’s a guy with an MD doing working in sales? – And I still get that question every time from family members. – But the thing is, right, he’s working in Federal Healthcare with IBM. So, having that medical knowledge helps, it helps progress large deals, right? – Exactly. – The good thing I like about
sales is commission checks. It gives you that
incentive to go out there and close big deals, and also your pay isn’t really capped. So, can you tell us about that? How is the pay in this new role in IBM? – The pay is good. The base that they offered
me was really nice. That gave me– – [Ian] It was six figures, right? – Six figure base pay, not bad, especially for a person without experience coming straight in
basically for his first job and getting a six-figure base pay. And then the commission check
was a new concept for me because Ian had already been
working there for 3 years. So, he was already willing– – Do you mind me saying how much you make? Like in ball figure? – Just say six figures,
keep it at that (laughs). – He makes good money though. – Use your imagination, the money is good. As you can see the money is very good. (laughing)
– Alright interesting. – So, the commission’s
aspect of it makes me think that not only am I going to be dealing with the engineering
part, designing the demos, but also designing demos that can showcase the best technologies, especially technologies that will get us the commission check and
ultimately will be selling the underlying technologies, not so much a solution that we design. – So, it terms of going back to income because this is a money
channel obviously, right. – Go ahead.
(laughing) – I know you’re trying to
kind of navigate around it, and it’s understandable,
but was the income, your earning in this role
was a sort of a downgrade compared to being a doctor, or was it on the same level? Do you think there’s a better chance of making more money in this role? – Let’s put it this way. If I was in residency right now I’d only be making 49k before taxes. Right now, the amount of
money I make right now, I’m in much better shape right now then I would be as resident
physician working those hours. Here I’m working remotely,
I have my own work replying for me when I have meetings I come in, otherwise I’m working from home and then the money is excellent. IBM pays for trips, IBM pays for travel, IBM covers me all the way. – [Ian] Right, that’s interesting. – In that way, I’m much
better off in this role than I would have been
if I would have stuck to the residency,
attending physician round. – Okay, alright, so
what are your long-term career goals and plans? – I think I want to continue to advance, and do a lot more stuff in
the Medical Technology field. I want to also be in charge, in charge, not just making them, in charge
of making medical solutions, medical solutions that can
change patient outcomes at the hospital level, at
the federal agency level, and then go from there. At some point, I want to be in charge of all the decisions that go
into making medical software, making new innovations in medicine. So, that’s what I want to work towards, and I’m still relatively
new to this field. So, I’m sure what I’m saying right now is going to change from maybe next year, but definitely, I want to get to a role where I’m actually in
charge of decision-making and being in charge of
a lot of talented people on my team where I can
basically have a person who’s working on this portion of it, this other person doing design, this other person doing implementation, and then I’m just there making sure that I have the best team in the house, and we’re making the best profit. – You want to be the boss. – [Ace] I want you want to be the boss. I want to be the boss. – Don’t we all right. Which is a goal all should strive to be, be the boss of your own life. – Exactly. – Alright, so let’s sum things up. What’s the biggest life hack you have? You’ve kind of gone through
some life hacks for school, but what’s the biggest
life hack you have, I mean, in life, all of life. Give us three life tips. – The first life tip I would give you is, and it’s kind of clichéd, and it’s kind of overrated, but sometimes it falls under the radar, and people don’t really
ascribe to it too much, but it’s determination. Determination means
that if you have a goal set out in your mind and
you’re going to do this then there should be nothing that detracts you from that goal. And especially, I’ve seen in my experience that if I have my mind set on
something I always achieve it. And to this point right now
where I’m sitting right now to where I came from from
high school and so forth, I’ve achieved everything I
wanted to achieve in life because I had a goal in mind. I wanted a scholarship to get into GW, or into college, I got a scholarship. I wanted to get into med
school, I got into med school. I wanted to get a really high-paying job in this area close to home, and be able to travel, do work,
and come up with interesting and new innovative advancements
in medicine and engineering and that’s precisely
what I’m doing because I had a goal and determination set up that I’m going to do this
and that’s what I did. But not only is just you have
like an empty purposeless goal that I’m going to do this
and then you don’t act on it. You have to have a goal in mind, and take all the steps
necessary to execute it. The determination is the first thing. – So, speaking of that though, the next determination me and
Assad have, me and Ace have is making a million.
– Making millions. – Making millions, actually a billion, but right, the first step to
a billion is making millions. I’m getting this guy into
the cryptic currency game. – I like it, has a nice ring to it. – We’ll keep you guys posted on that. What’s the second tip? – The second tip is another cliche, but it’s something that I was… Became more privy to, especially when I met this guy over here, and one of the most influential, and one of the most reliable
and hard-working people I know. He might not always come off
as the most hard-working person but he definitely puts in the work. – [Ian] That’s the trick right there. – Exactly. – So, the thing is that it’s
not always how much you know but it’s also who you know too. So, if you basically paint
yourself into the corner and you’re doing all this studying, you’re doing all this hard work, and you’re doing this,
but no one knows about it, and you don’t know anyone else to actually keep you in the loop about
what’s going on in the market then you’re basically wasting your time. You’re just spinning your wheels. So, you got to know the people too. You got to know the people, you got to know the your competition. – [Ian] You have to be plugged in. – You have to be plugged in, into the net, you have to be plugged into the network. – Right, absolutely. So, let’s get to the last tip. – Rinse and repeat.
– Rinse and repeat? – Rinse and repeat. Work hard and know the right people. Work hard and know the right people. And continue that cycle. And when I mean work hard, work hard and have a goal set in mind. Don’t just be working aimlessly. Have a goal set in mind
that I’m going to do XXX by this time, and
then set out and do it. – So, basically put a deadline. – [Ace] Put a deadline,
I always put a deadline. – [Ian] A goal is a dream with a deadline. – [Ace] Exactly. – So, dream big, and
put a deadline to that. – Exactly. – Obviously, you like to read, right? – I love to read. – What are your favorite books? – Favorite books, I used to read a lot of Science Fiction back in the day, but now i’m usually reading a
lot of non-fiction books too. Sometimes I do a lot of How-To guides, but then I read a lot of
these other influential books like Ian mentioned the 48 Laws of Power. That’s a very, a favorite book of mine. I think it’s probably
at the top of my list, Robert Green, is one
of my favorite authors. – [Ian] Any other books you like? – Any other books? I would say– – [Ian] Fiction or non-fiction. – I think I’m going to get
a lot of flack on this, but one book that was
especially influential to me from a very early age was
the Harry Potter books. – Really! – A lot of people are going like, “Oh Harry Potter, that’s just a fad.” But no, Harry Potter actually opened a world of possibilities to me because it actually inspired me
to pursue a hobby of mine. So, when I’m not studying
and learning new stuff, I actually like to write
a lot on my spare time. I’m actually working on a couple books. So, actually just reading
the Harry Potter books– – Fiction books, like creative writing. – Yeah, creative writing,
the realistic fiction is what I like to write,
realistic fiction. And I actually got an inspiration
from the JK Rowling story and saw how she basically created a billion-dollar enterprise,
empire basically, from just writing books, and just from like seven books. – [Ian] So, what exactly
is realistic fiction? – Realistic fiction is basically
using your own experiences and crafting a story around it. So, it doesn’t have to be,
you use your experiences as a backdrop for your stories. – [Ian] Kind of like a bio. – Kind of like a bio. – [Ian] But somebody else’s story. – But it’s someone else’s story. Like you take out of Asad, and you put Jake or something. (laughing) – Interesting because that’s actually what I’ve been thinking about, but not really as a book,
more as a movie, or a TV show because as you know I’ve had lots of interesting experiences in life, and I felt I could kind
of encapsulate them and produced them into
a TV show down the line. Very interesting, we’ll definitely
have to talk about that. – Awesome, I love sitcoms,
you heard it first. – Alright, let me see you
like traveling a lot, right? – I love to travel. – What places do you like to travel to? – When I was a lot younger
I used to travel a lot to India with my family because I still have a lot of
family there in India, but then recently I started
to go more to the Caribbean. So, one place I used to go a lot to, and still go to to some extent
is the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean which is
a lesser known secret. A lot of people know
it more for Punta Cana, and some of the more
touristy sites on the island. – That’s actually an interesting story. First time I went to DR,
to the Dominican Republic, I went to with this guy, right, and he basically just
called me up, and was like, “Hey, do you want to go to
the Dominican Republic?” I’m like, “Okay, sure, where is that?” I ended up going there and
the whole trip was a blast. Alright, so I think that’s kind of, this has been a very, very deep episode of hacking the system. We got to talking about high school, and how to become a straight A student. But it was a lot more than that. You definitely showed us how a kind of start out early, how to
overcome high school, college, grad school, how to
plot your career academically and I think this was probably
one of the best episodes because we definitely have
lots of college kids out there, high school kids who
are constantly asking me questions about college. I think this video right here can become that in fact cornerstone. Right?
– Yeah. – Cornerstone, right.
– Has a nice ring to it. – This has been a very, very great time having you on the show, I appreciate it. – I appreciate you, always a pleasure. – Always my brother,
brother for life, right? – Brother from another mother. – I’ll probably have you back
on sometime down the road. – Yeah, anytime you
guys have any questions, you want any more tips
to mastering college, mastering University, and getting into the
career of your dreams. – Yeah, smartest guy I know. – Let me know. – Alright, thanks guys. – Thanks! Peace!
– Peace. Alright that’s a wrap. Thanks for checking out the show. Make sure you give it a like, and subscribe, drop a comment, and review. Check out my website, where I
drop game every single week. Check me out on social media, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. Let’s go out there, make this
money, hustle the greatness.

4 thoughts on “How to Get Straight As in College and High School (Hacking School)

  1. haha that was me. I got a 26 on my ACT and it got me into a state school, but I barely graduated because I did zero work and graduated with a 2.2 or something. The I dropped and spent a lot of years learning to work hard as a delivery guy. Now I'm back in college at 36 and my grades are much better because I actually care this time:)

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