Molloy helps teens hone business skills


Students from 41 Long Island and New York City high schools came to Molloy College in the first days of summer for a four-day Business Boot Camp.

“This is our way of having students who would like to major in business or think they want to major in business but they’re not really sure what area,” said Jennifer Goez, director of the boot camp. “This is a good place for them to come to get a better idea of what their options are.”

Ayana Ibarra, 16, from St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington said she went to the boot camp to “explore different paths in business.” She said she enjoyed collaborating with her team in the entrepreneurship event and working on the interactive competitions.

Students compete in teams in programs that reflect different aspects of business. There are 22 teams of 3 or 4 students each. Prizes are given out on the last day.

“The other thing too that we want to make sure is happening here is that the students are having a good time,” Goez said. “That they walk away with meaningful experience from working with these students.”

Now in its fifth year, the boot camp has programs and competitions in entrepreneurship, marketing, trading stocks and accounting.

Of the 350 students who applied, 87 were accepted. Goez said they started interviewing applicants in January.

“I’ve been constantly impressed by the quality of all the students and all of the student projects,” said Aaron Foss, professor at Molloy and self-described serial-entrepreneur.

Foss ran “The Lion’s Den” activity, which is based on the TV show “Shark Tank,” in which team has two minutes to pitch an made-up idea to potential investors. The students’ ideas ranged from a “cup-in-a-plate” – for people at parties who need to hold their food and drinks with one hand – to a tanning chair that turns toward the sun.

“I’m seeing stuff around here from these high school students that is better than some of the adults that I’ve seen on Long Island,” Foss said.

Alexandra Tatarian, 17, of Manhasset, enjoyed the activity. “I’m a fan of Shark Tank, it was like being on the show,” she said.

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