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A Current 9th-grader’s Thoughts on the Business Institute

By Flynn Goldstein, Staff Writer

Imagine the following: You’re sitting on uncomfortable chairs in a collegiate auditorium. Next to you are peers to your left and right, encircling the professor’s lectern. You haven’t begun the lecture yet, and as you wait patiently for the professor to settle the students, removing your pen and notebook from your bag, you notice the slide show’s title: “Product-Market Fit.” You harken back to your days in the Business Institute, in a much smaller class with a more communal aura. “Product-Market Fit,” you recall, is achieved when the product successfully satisfies the target audience’s already established demand. This is like the relationship between Barrack’s Business Institute (in our case, Barrack’s product) and its clientele (its students). This student could be you – the choice is yours. 

Let me take you through our year while highlighting some focal points, if I may. The year began with an introductory unit – establishing a foundation upon which to build. The central question being: How does profit differ from revenue and how are they even calculated? We moved onto the product side of marketing. How can businesses optimize their products to achieve the aforementioned “Product-Market Fit” and how can they generate excitement within their target market? In order to prove our understanding and proficiency, we designed an advertisement in order to promote a model business that we envisioned. The product idea had to be backed by quantitative and qualitative data that we collected from our peers through surveys.

 To propel any idea, entrepreneurs need funding. Thus, we covered appropriate funding resources through every stage of corporate growth. The capstone of this unit was a mock rendition of the popular television show, Shark Tank. The case had to be before our fellow classmates (I mean sharks). It wasn’t just standing empty-handed casually discussing our product. Oh, no – we had to prepare a slide deck and consequently woo over our sharks. 

Students truly demonstrated their entrepreneurial capabilities when it came to our investing simulation. Over the course of a month, students selected the stocks they believed would succeed in the coming weeks and committed a balance of $100,000 to them. (In actuality, however, only simulated funds.) Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well for my partner and me, though some students did fare better than us. (Next year, however, they’ll have it coming.) The top competitors garnered extra credit points for their strategy and luck. 

8th graders – you’re now probably considering your future institute or have recently made the decision. If you’re like me, you’re probably leaning towards or have already chosen the Business Institute to relieve your burden of a numbers-centric class or (I’m just going to go out and say it) STEAM. Ostensibly, business is generally less figure-based, yet, some segments of business are just as mathematical. Case in point, accounting. Some hate it, yet businesses, admittedly, could not survive without it, for who would they be accountable to (get it)? So, of course, the course segwayed into accounting, in order to conceptualize how businesses manage their money. 

The Business Institute, out of necessity, introduces students to the varied facets of the business world. A leader is nothing without a strong understanding of all of their employees’ roles. Numbers and data play an ever-increasing function within the modern-day global sphere, and if you want to understand your business, you MUST engage with every aspect. 

Business is more than just the crude pursuit of success and money. (I hate to break it to you.) It is a thinking method, analyzing your options, maximizing opportunity, and making informed decisions to conduct the most impactful commerce. Drop your morals and you’ll inevitably fall. That’s what the Business Institute taught, at the very least, me. 

Now, I would be remiss if I neglected to discuss and thank the institute’s instructor. Mr. David Kimmel, a young, but so very energetic and lively fellow, flaunts the newest in teaching technology. Review games are a staple and he attests that they cement material. His students owe it to him tremendously and you’ll share the same gratitude when you conclude your 9th grade year. 

The choice is yours. Will you end up in that college lecture or somewhere else? Which institute will you choose? 


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