Tag: College

My Thoughts on Becoming the new President of Business and Economics Alumni at CCNY

As I mentioned in a previous post, on July 1, 2017 I will begin my term as President of Business and Economics Alumni at CCNY (BEAS).

First it is an honor that the School of Social Sciences, the Alumni Association, and my fellow members of the Board of Directors all agree and find me fit to serve in this role.  This is a position that I have always held in a high regard and I will do my absolute maximum to live up to the title.

I have been in leadership roles since I was 18, I am now 35, I have less hair on my head and a bit of what remains has even turned a shade of gray.  I know I have the necessary experience to lead a board of highly accomplished men and women.  Members of this board are both older and younger than I am.  Some members of this board have more experience than I do in many areas.  I will be looking to those members to help guide me.  To those members where I have a bit more age and experience, I will always do the maximum to be there to assist and guide you.  I anticipate having a great time in learning about everyone in a greater level of detail than I have had in the past.

I’m taking over a board in transition.  I will have a new 2nd Vice President, 3rd Vice President, and Secretary.  I am replacing a President that has served for 7 years, and has at the same time achieved a long list of accomplishments in her own career.  As this is a unique opportunity to add members to the board, I will be adding 6 new members that have varied experience in architecture, business, economics, education, and history.  I am glad that I have had the opportunity to add recent graduates too.  The recent graduates come from the new undergraduate Economics Business and Finance Society that I have had the pleasure of working hard to put together over the semesters of FA 16 and SP 17.

To the departing members of the board, I thank you for your service.  Without your contributions, I wouldn’t be in this position.

To the members of the board that are staying on, I may have only been added to the board in the Fall of 2015 but my dedication to the university and to develop an undergrad – alumni community is why I want this position.  Things will be different coming from a previous presidency spanning 7 years; I ask that you please put faith in my leadership and management abilities and give me a chance to show you all what I can do.

To the new members of the board, I have known most of you going back to 2010 and 2011.  I’ve been a student with you, been your friend, and worked with you, we’ve built trust in each other.  I know I can count on you to be your best.

To the 2017 graduates joining the board, you’ve earned my trust over the academic year; get ready for the ride.

Lets all work together to raise BEAS up higher than it has ever been.  I know we can do it.

–END

 

As always, thank you for reading, and comment if you see fit.

 

On College Students that Have a Desire to Reengineer Society, Confiscate Wealth, and Belief that they are ENTITLED to a Job and a FREE College Education

An older article wrote years ago that I published here since I believe the concept is still relevant.
I consider it an honor and a privilege as an alumnus of CUNY City College to assist business and economics students with preparation for internships, interviews, and the first steps of their careers.  In April, while on campus I was motivated to put this post together after seeing a student group advocating for students rights.  I introduced myself as alumni of the university and inquired to what exactly they wanted, they were advocating for free tuition for all students.  Initially I thought it was a joke, NYC resident tuition with fees included at a CUNY school is $6,274.50 (http://www.cuny.edu/admissions/tuition-fees.html) per academic year which is far below the average academic year at a private and public state universities (https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-undergraduate-charges-sector-2013-14).
I was disturbed when I read the students’ plan for making tuition free.  Their plan was to confiscate and redistribute the perks and salary of the president of CUNY City College (and other administrators) and then follow that up with the presidents of other CUNY branches.    I told the student advocating for this that it would amount to nothing once it was equally distributed.  Her only counter was that the president of the university didn’t deserve her salary and because it was ‘more than the Obama’s salary’.  I defended the university president’s salary by saying that as a career educator who had risen ranks of higher education and dedicated her life to helping college students, she earned it.  Since the advocating student was a woman, I went further by saying ‘wouldn’t you want to see a female in a leadership position earning a higher salary?’  Her only defense was ‘no one deserves that salary’.  She then brushed me aside.
Obviously there is something higher at work than just a student advocating for a cause.  The student felt as if she had enough wisdom, knowledge, and foresight to determine that was ‘enough’ money for people to make and that anything above her predetermined amount needed to be taxed or confiscated for redistribution.
What stings more is that there are more with her opinion, many more.  In my time as both a student at St. Bonaventure University and CUNY City College it is something that I often saw and still see.  I take every opportunity to engage the students in discussion about what they believe, how they formed their opinions, and why they believe that their solutions are the ONLY viable solutions. In challenging them I am often simply told that I have no idea what I am talking about that only complete equality, accepted or forced, is the only solution.
I even attempted to talk to one student who was advocating for the complete reengineering of society across the world into a currency and border less world where all were equal and no one had to work for anyone or do anything that they didn’t truly want to do.  When I asked ‘how would people buy things to wear and food to eat’ she had no response at all beyond saying that people should grow their own food.  Clearly this student is being heavily influenced heavily by someone pushing pre industrial revolution Marxist ideas which could never work in this modern age of technology with the current global population as it is.  I concluded the discussion when she told me that people like me who studied economics in college didn’t realize that we were fed propaganda for 4 years and that the laws of supply, demand, labor, and wage were all made up by wealthy white people in the 1800’s to keep others down.  She did admit though, that she had never taken any economics course and never would.
REALLY?  Yes those events actually occurred.
Whoever is motivating these students to advocate for causes deeply rooted in socialism also teaches them to dismiss any challenge.  It is a tactic strikingly similar to the current political spectrum in the USA today.  Anyone who challenges modern day social liberal-leftism is dismissed as being anti science or as a sexist, racist, homophobe that eats polar bears for breakfast.
I do not blame the students for wanting to confiscate and redistribute wealth.  In my estimation, 90-95% of the students advocating these societal changes chose majors that currently have low starting salaries and high unemployment rates.  Many students I meet on campus feel that they have a right to a job when they graduate, even if it means that someone who has been there a long time has to go so they can come in.  What is most unfortunate is that they do not realize that whether or not it is easy for them to get a job is directly related to the supply and demand for the given skill or service that they went to college to acquire expertise to provide.  There is a reason why petroleum engineer earns $80K to start and a film maker with a BFA starts at $27K.  It is all about supply and demand; simple economics; end of story.
It appears that students advocating for what I described above miss that fact once something belongs to everyone; it really belongs to no one.  Any use of any facility or object belonging to ‘everyone’ that could in some way bother or offend any one person in any way would then have to be banned.  The further you push a society towards complete equality in all cases, the further you go from freedom in any form.  Often I wonder if the students know exactly what they are calling for, or if they are just being used by whoever is pushing these ideas on them.
Certainly it is their right to believe such things; I am not saying that they should be silenced or have their beliefs squashed or that whoever teaches them such things should be fired.
There are two things that could and should be done that would give all students a better chance at having a job with a desirable salary soon after they graduate.
First is that introduction level micro and macro economics classes should be required for all students.  I’m sorry but they are more relevant today than art history, this would give students the opportunity to learn how wealth transfers from business to person, person to government, country to country and so on.  They would learn how prices and wages are determined, whether they choose to believe it or not.
Second, when a student wants to declare a major upon entering college as a new student at 18, colleges should inform them of the current average starting salary and unemployment rate for students who have graduated with a degree in that field over the past 5 years.  Many students have dreams of acquiring things they dreamed of as kids, only to graduate into a field where their only dream is to actually get a job.  I switched from computer science to economics years ago because immediately after the dot com crash, jobs and salaries in the field vanished.  Advice that I give students is to list 5 things in life that they could enjoy doing for a long time and feel that they would never get tired of; I then ask them to rank them in order or profitability.  If you enjoy doing something that is very profitable, it will give you the ability to say that you like what you do and can use the money earned there to finance all of your other passions in life.  Doing so will give you an enjoyable career with diverse hobbies and enable you to do what you want whenever your schedule allowed.