Ordinary lectures were transformed into real-world narratives Tuesday when local business professionals became professors for the day in the college of business and economics.
Over 60 business experts gave students a taste of what to expect after they’ve received their diplomas, said Erin Goldfarb, volunteer and donor relations coordinator and development and alumni relations for the college.
“It’s not just teaching students out of the book,” Goldfarb said. “It’s about building one-on-one connections with and knowing people in the business world.”
When the college created the event four years ago, Goldfarb said the professionals were given a script sheet with general topics they might want to cover in their lectures, ranging from what their first jobs were after college, how they received that job, and how they arrived to where they are today.
The event is an opportunity for students who would not otherwise have access to CEO’s or key business leaders, Goldfarb said.
Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive vice president and artistic director for OPI, a leading family-owned nail care company in the beauty industry, took center-stage in front of packed Noski Auditorium for one of the final classes of the day.
“I set the trends, I don’t follow them, and that’s how it’s been for 30 years,” said Weiss-Fischmann, who is also known as the first lady of nails.
Weiss-Fischmann focused her presentation on marketing, which accounts for 85 percent of their revenue, she said.
“Having a good public relations agency is priceless,” Weiss-Fischmann said.
Rameez Ahmed, first year MBA major, said Weiss-Fischmann’s presentation educated him on the many facets of marketing.
“It’s not a simple endeavor of putting money in a magazine,” Ahmed said. “It’s the steps you take to make the common uncommon.”
OPI, which began as a dental supply company and began using polymer technology in their acrylic nail products, has become a beauty icon over the past 30 years, Weiss-Fischmann said.
A successful brand is more than a product, and the key to success is coming up with something outside of the box that will excite the consumer, said Weiss-Fischmann, who has participated in several other similar college events.
“I learned that students are really smart and eager to learn,” said Weiss-Fischmann. She said she will continue to lecture students in events such as the Professors for a Day.