Each year over Spring Break, students at the Delphian School in Sheridan are offered an unusual opportunity in the area of business and economics through the school’s very popular Business Seminar. This year 24 Delphian School students along with some school faculty and parents traveled to Los Angeles where they had personal interviews with a number of leaders in the high-tech and multi-media industries as well as many intimate meetings with Hollywood artists and actors, directors and producers.
At Delphian School, students are challenged to explore ideas thoroughly and to test them out in the real world. Toward this end students are offered a variety of apprenticeships in a wide range of professions: medicine, law, art, culinary, engineering, and the performing and visual arts, just to name a few. In the Business Seminar, students learn about concepts in economics ranging from the basics of supply and demand to corporate formation and securities and commodities trading. But “testing things out in the real world” is taken to an entirely new level with the annual Business Seminar Field Trip.
Each year Business Seminar students travel either to the East or West Coast. This year they were California bound, centering in Los Angeles. They spent ninety minutes with Universal Studios CEO, Ron Meyer, who spoke candidly about his rise to the top. Senior Gal Ezra said of the interview, “Mr. Meyer told us that education is enormously important. His rule of success is to always do everything that he promised. He told us that no one can do what you can do better than you can do it.”
Students went onto the set of the hit TV series Extra and behind the scenes at an Emmy-winning CBS soap, The Young and The Restless. This was not a canned “backstage” tour, where spectators view activities from a distance. Instead, actress Michelle Stafford hosted the group as her special guests. “This was a fantastic chance for us to get exposed to true professionalism,” said Delphian’s Assistant Headmaster and trip leader, Mark Siegel. “We were there for five hours, and they were actually shooting the scenes right in front of us. The stage manager stayed for more than half his lunch hour just to talk to the students.”
This insider treatment held true throughout the trip. Delphian students had a personal interview with Paul Jacobs, the CEO and President of QualComm, a company that designs, manufactures and markets digital wireless telecommunications products and services. They also visited with professors at the Art Center College of Design and with executives at John Travolta Productions, Rockefeller Architects, Boingo Wireless, Solar Reserve, Diskeeper Corporation, Symantec, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, just to name a few.
Sophomore Tristan Norred summed the trip up this way: “The business trip opened up whole new worlds to us. Many of us realized what we thought we wanted to do maybe wasn’t what we really wanted to do after all, and some of us realized just how much we love what we’re doing right now.”