Never make the mistake of selling these Huntington High School business students short. They can be very persuasive. The teenagers recently visited with J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth graders, discussing business elective courses that will soon be available to the younger group as they approach their freshman year.
Junior Max Gordon and seniors Chris Martin, Michael Drake, Michael Marziliano, Luke Giordano, Colby Martin, Anthony McDonald and Jay Ryan Schmitt along with high school business teachers Suzie Biagi and Paige Tyree-Furman made a series of presentations and answered questions for curious eighth graders in Finley family and consumer science teacher Sharon Holly’s classes.
The teenagers shared their experiences in the 10 high school business electives and freely dispensed advice to help the eighth graders hit the ground running next September.
“These wonderfully spirited young men all gave excellent advice as the eighth graders paid rapt attention,” Ms. Biagi said. “They shared their favorite anecdotes about their best business classes and stressed the importance of getting involved with the many clubs and sports available at the high school level.”
The discussion extended far beyond just the business classes that are available to Huntington High School students and reached into the overall life around the building. “There is something for everyone,” Colby Martin said. “Actually you’ll probably have a hard time doing all the extracurricular activities you want to do.”
The teenagers shared insights into their business courses, “such as learning practical career and financial life skills, participating in real world scenarios like moot court and investing in a live simulation stock market game,” Ms. Tyree said.
Field trips to Madison Square Garden and the Suffolk Correctional Facility in Riverhead captured the imagination of the eighth graders.
The high school group showcased a new Virtual Enterprises course during the visit. Although they aren’t eligible to enroll in the class until their junior year, the current eighth graders were nevertheless interested in it.
“The new course is set to run next year and encompasses a virtual enterprise, which is a simulated business that is set up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment,” explained Ms. Biagi. “Students will learn about economics; micro and macro and its relationship to and impact on business operation in the private enterprise system. The students study supply and demand, the Federal Reserve System, taxation by local, state, and federal governments, business organizations, the stock market and international transactions. All of this is done while the students determine the nature of their business, its products and services, its management and structure and learn the daily operations of a business under the guidance of a consultant with the support of a real business partner. They use current business software packages and the internet for making business transactions using economics as a factor in decision making. Local, state and international trade shows will be attended as the ‘firms’ compete with their opponents throughout the state and across the globe.”
While the eighth graders are certainly interested in and even focused on the here and now, they also paid attention to what the high school contingent had to say about what lies ahead.
“We urge you to take a chance, step out of your comfort zone and try something new,” business intern Chris Martin said. The senior saw himself in the Finley eighth graders, remembering when he was of a similar age and was both excited and scared to move on to the high school. The teenager said the business department gave him a “home” and was a place where he could “step outside of my comfort zone, be myself and explore different options for my future.”
The Finley eighth graders were a receptive audience. “The trip proved to be rewarding for both groups of students,” Mr. Martin said. “The kids were very enthusiastic about the Personal Law class field trip to the county jail and the Sports Marketing class trip to Madison Square Garden. I was wrong to think the kids wouldn’t listen; we all had a great time.”
The high school students really connected with their Finley counterparts, which helped make the visit so successful. “To say we are going to miss these guys is an understatement,” Ms. Biagi said “Tomorrow’s corporate world better look out; eight amazing young men are on their way and I have no doubt we will be seeing them do great things in the future. I for one can’t wait to see what they accomplish.”