Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) students participated in a number of external volunteer opportunities, internships and also real world training exercises throughout the past academic year.
One group of students took part in the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative Program, a six-month exercise where teams from select colleges are assigned a Business Case Challenge and the team’s decisions impact a hypothetical corporation.
BMCC, along with student teams from Hudson County Community College, New Jersey City University and St. Peter’s University, participated in the program, which took place from November 2016 through May 2017.
Students on each team assumed a corporate role such as chief executive officer, chief financial officer or marketing and branding according to Won Kang, Director of the Center for Career Development at BMCC.
This year’s Business Case Challenge culminated on May 5 at Goldman Sachs global headquarters in New York when team members took the stage and made their final business strategy presentations before a mock board of directors.
Among the questions the teams considered were, “How will results be measured and communicated to shareholders?” “How do you boost employee morale in the face of economic challenges?”
The BMCC team’s corporation was a multinational technology company that designs, develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software and online services.
For its final presentation, the BMCC team developed a plan to circumvent a business crisis in which news about the company’s groundbreaking, solar-powered mobile phone had been leaked to the media before its much anticipated, and highly promoted launch date.
Team members had to devise damage control tactics and come up with a plan that would still build excitement and buzz around the company and its new product.
As Computer Science major Babatunde Ogunniyi made his way with the other students to the auditorium before the presentation, he said one of the skills he and his teammates strengthened during the course of the program was how to put aside personality differences and work as a unit for the greater goal, the product’s success.
“At the end of the day, you have to make everybody mesh, and use everyone’s best ideas for the group,” said Ogunniyi.
BMCC was the first team among the four schools to present. Presentations were made before a mock board made up by Goldman Sachs company officers, including managing directors. Each student spoke about a specific component of the proposal. After each team had completed its presentation, the mock board offered candid feedback, critiques and asked questions.
Overall, the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative Program was a unique experience for BMCC team member and Science major Tesfamichael W. Demeke. “The experience gave us an introduction to the corporate world and lessons about business etiquette,” he said. “It inspired me to take a Business Administration class this semester and I'm exploring summer internship opportunities at companies like Goldman Sachs.”
The BMCC team worked with BMCC staff including Michael Hutmaker, Dean for Student Affairs and Thierry Thesatus, Senior Career Advisor. They also worked closely with Goldman Sachs Mentors Karina Suryan, Analyst, Finance, and Ochelle Drysdale, Analyst, Technology.
BMCC student participants included Diagna Camilo (Modern Languages), Natalia Corletto (Multimedia Programming and Design), Tesfamichael Demeke (Science), Olesia Hyka (Business Administration), Hyun-Shin Lee (Accounting), Karol Malachowicz (Engineering Science), Ching Hei Mok (Business Administration), Henry Noble, (Business Administration), Babatunde Ogunniyi (Computer Science) and Una Radakovic (Criminal Justice).