Christian Cordero, who graduates in Nov. 2019 with a bachelor's degree in business administration (BBA), is a doer.
So, it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows him that during his undergraduate career, he participated in three co-op terms and, during his third year, collaborated in an online business that is making modest profits.
“I learned a lot of theory in class, but I wanted to apply it, so I went out and starting my own thing,” Cordero said.
This “thing” is www.febbit.com, a website that teaches its community about cryptocurrency mining while playing a videogame that illustrates the process. Players earn cryptocurrency rewards as they progress, an incentive to return to the site.
“It’s such a new industry and I latched onto it,” Cordero said. He began reading and researching the technology and investing some of his own money. During his fourth year at U of T Scarborough, he did a co-op term with TD Bank’s blockchain group. The experience gave him the confidence to look for opportunities in the world of cryptocurrency and Cordero found himself assisting clients in the industry.
A UTSC soccer pal connected Cordero to Paul Bursu, a friend (and UTSC alumnus) with an interest in cryptocurrency. Together, they and two partners began to grow Febbit, which is thriving three years later with an online community of more than 200,000 registered users. The business doesn’t earn enough to support any of them full time, but it has provided valuable experience. It also gave Cordero a focus as he relaxed between finishing his coursework in September and convocation, and it even offered him the opportunity to mentor a student intern.
“It’s not something I would have imagined doing as an undergraduate,” Cordero said.
Cordero did three co-op terms during his UTSC career: one in sales for a moving company, which gave him valuable insights into how theory translated into practice in terms of how a business is run. In addition to his stint with TD’s blockchain group, he spent a term in the bank’s digital channels group.
“When I was younger, I used to read John Grisham legal suspense novels and had a romantic idea about becoming a lawyer,” he said, “but I saw, as I grew up, I looked at my skills and realized I had a knack for business. I learned to capitalize on my strengths and would advise other students to learn to do the same. I found that whatever my weaknesses, I’d have a team behind me to compensate.”
He hopes to inspire other students to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
“If I could do this as a third-year university student and make a small profit, others can, too,” Cordero said. “It’s cool to try. Don’t worry about what others think and don’t be afraid to make the jump. Now is a good time to try these things, when you don’t have a lot of financial responsibilities.”
After convocation, Cordero plans to look for full-time job opportunities in the business world to supplement the minimal income he gets from Febbit. Wherever life leads him, he will take his business knowledge, along with a valuable lesson he learned from his days as a new commuter student at UTSC.
“You have to put yourself out there,” Cordero said. “You need to comfortable with yourself, friendly, empathetic and kind – people recognize that. It’s all about being genuine.”