Business Speaker Series kicks off in ACPlus

Last week, 83 students in the ACPlus Investments Club were lucky participants in the first installment of this year's Business Speaker Series, a new initiative that will feature a variety of guest speakers from various business disciplines throughout the year.
 
Mr. Jaekel and Mr. Kaloti hosted Sulaimaan Bhatti, a former student of Mr. Kaloti in his previous teaching position, who is pursuing a dual degree in business and health sciences at the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.
 
Sulaimaan recently launched a business venture called Speak-On this past summer as part of the Government of Ontario's Summer Company program. After several rounds of ideation and testing, he created a prototype and was eager to test out his business idea with the students in the Investments Club.
 
Speak-On is an educational tool designed to be used in high school classrooms to improve communication and public speaking skills in students. It consists of a paper card deck, a digital rubric, and an online tracking tool. The questions in the card deck are organized by domain of knowledge, related to high school courses taught across Ontario.
 
Students in the Investments Club were treated to a presentation by Sulaimaan, in which he highlighted the business start-up process, as well as the importance of networking, product ideation, and mentorship. He also discussed the importance of developing a foundation of public speaking skills, as well as gaining valuable experience through participating in extra-curricular activities such as DECA.
 
The students then played the Speak-On game, sharpened their presentation skills, and provided feedback on the product. It was a fantastic experience for the students and an interesting glimpse into the entrepreneurial process.
 
This was the first of several sessions planned as part of the Business Speaker Series this year. Next on the schedule are Saad Siddiqui ’15 and Andrew Ladouceur ’15, founders of Bonsai. They will be speaking to Business Studies students about the start-up process and conducting some beta testing of new features for their product.
 
The ACPlus, or Arts/Co-Curricular Plus, is an optional program offered to Upper School students Thursday afternoons offering the opportunity to engage in arts and lifestyle-related activities. Nearly 80 per cent of boys have opted to participate in the program’s first year!

Story by Sean Ludwig, Department Head of Business
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