Suiting up for the first School of Business Day Reply

Hannah Ackerly & Taylor Viles – 1851 Staff 

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Corporate sharks award Alexandra Barlett with $2,000 for “ConnectMV: Messages.” Photo courtesy of Cecilia Costa.

The first ever School of Business Day was held on March 20 in de Witt Hall. The coordinators merged the School of Business majors into an event that will continue annually.

The first ever School of Business Day was held on March 20 in de Witt Hall. The coordinators merged the School of Business majors into an event that will continue annually.

Charlie Collins and Michael Ketchen were the event’s Keynote Speakers. Collins, a self-made entrepreneur and founder of Charlie Collins International, LLC, had an eye disease that prevented him from having a normal childhood. People looked at him differently, which caused him to lose confidence. “How you see yourself and how you see the world is critical,” said Collins.

He was eventually hired by a motorcycle dealership and was promoted quickly. Within three years he was named the Vice President and part-owner of the multi-million dollar company. “Something shifted in me,” he said. Having someone who believed in his work allowed his confidence to rise again.

Collins lives by a Henry Ford quote saying, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

Inspired by this quote, he started his own company working with and helping blind people. Since selling the company three years ago, Collins wrote a book discussing his struggles during his youth and adulthood. It also discusses his success and that, “success is an inside job, not an outside job.”

Lasell alum from 2006 and founder of Commonwealth Collective, LLC Michael Ketchen was the second Keynote Speaker. During his speech he shared experiences while reflecting on things that helped him learn and grow in his time after college.

He said, “I truly believe we are alive at the greatest time with unlimited opportunities, you can literally do whatever you want.” Ketchen emphasized finding passions and the reasons to pursue goals.

Junior event management major and one of the student coordinators Ally Parabicoli said, “I have to say this was challenging and rewarding, this was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, but it was so worth it. Everyone seemed to have a great time.”

 

Corporate sharks made an appearance as four students pitched their business ideas for the chance to win a $2,000 grant and to work with a “Shark” on their future business plan. Jeff McNeil, founder of Qeepsake and 2017 “Shark Tank” contestant, was one of the guest panelists. Two winners were chosen: Carlos Hernandez, creator of a tracking device the size of a SIM card called “Smart Tape,” received $500 to pursue his invention. Alexandra Barlett who created the app “ConnectMV: Messages,” won the Grand Prize of $2,000. The app was designed to help small businesses grow and expand their consumer base, soon to be working with Martha’s Vineyard.

 

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