Business Guest Speakers

By Aidan McGuire

During the final week of October, High School East had graced its business students with a number of guest speakers in the little theater. But what’s so noteworthy about these speakers is not that they were just some sort of business teachers giving some forgetful spiel — these speakers were the real deal, coming from several big name companies. In fact, the first speaker, Mrs. Smith (wife of our very own Mr. Smith of the business department) has worked at one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in Albany, New York, and has also held accounting positions at General Electric, Higher Education Services Corporation, and Trans World Entertainment. She currently works at SaxBST and is also a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. And with a career spanning 23 years, and with an MBA in Accounting and Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Mrs. Smith gladly taught the business students important lessons about entrepreneurship and what kind of things one can expect in the business field: what are the preferred business colleges to hirers? The pay? The experience? Even the personal pressures of handling money for multi-billion dollar companies were touched upon, giving a greater understanding of the business world to the students than anything a simple classroom powerpoint could have given.

But that was just on Monday.

On Tuesday, members from “Ayco Private Wealth Management” — a company that handles the money of the richest of the richest, the biggest of the big — including it’s vice president, Timothy C. Smith; it’s Director of Staffing and Operations, Marcia R. Congetta; and it’s Senior Administrator, Corbin J. Rosmarin, visited the little theater. It’s very rare for these three to come out and present to schools, so this was a very special occasion for Shen’s business students. Mrs. Congetta gave insightful advice on how to greet, make positive relations with coworkers and possible business partners, and generally how to handle social interactions on the business field, and Mr. Smith and Mr. Rosmarin elaborated on the teachings of Mrs. Smith a day prior, filling us, the students, in on the qualifications that employers like to see and what kinds of experiences we could all expect when dealing with millions of dollars over a single phone call, or working for one of the biggest personal accounting firms in America.

Thursday was the final day of guest speakers, and that time, the founder of “Mealeo” — a free to use online food ordering program — and later “Fiternity” — a sports clothing company — came to Shen to talk about his life story, Blake Hanan. Having graduated from Shen himself in 2000, earning his BS in Marketing and Management from Siena college with a full baseball scholarship, and, soon after, signing for the Baltimore Orioles, Blake’s life story is certainly an interesting one. Blake eventually left the Orioles to pursue his career in business and finance, and to create “Mealeo,” which, believe it or not, only grossed less than 3 dollars in revenue during the first month after it’s original launch in 2008. However, the company is now worth millions of dollars. And in 2012, Blake founded “Fiternity,” whose products have shipped to over 16 countries thus far and is sponsored by professional athletes such as Kevin Seaman and Mike Abgarian.

But if that wasn’t enough, all of the guest speakers offered out prizes to those who got involved with the discussions, giving away things such as candy and gift cards.

The student body should thank Mr. Flynt and Mr. Smith for arranging these guest speakers in the little theater. These kinds of events are always a treat as they are both informative, offering up something new to the aspiring business major, and because, of course! Who doesn’t like free give aways?

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