Ossining High School Wins Business Olympics

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Ossining High School students win the Youth Business Skills Olympics.
Ossining High School students win the Youth Business Skills Olympics.

Ossining High School won first place in the Eighth Annual Youth Business Skills Olympics.

Ossining High School was one of 13 schools to send teams to the competition, which was held at PepsiCo in Purchase on Nov. 18. Each team was asked to analyze, articulate and solve a Harvard Business School case study in front of a panel of judges.

This year’s case study concerned Demand Media, an online content company, and asked the question: Should Demand Media continue with its current business model or look into social media?

All of the participating teams received the case one week in advance. At the competition, they were given three hours to develop a business plan and five minutes to present it to the panel of judges.

The teams were evaluated not only on the soundness of their business advice but on the cohesiveness of the group, said Debra Jacoby, a business teacher at Ossining High School and the team’s moderator.

“The first thing our team said was that the company had to eliminate ‘the dead weight’ and cut services and products that were not profitable,” said Jacoby. “That might seem obvious to a business executive but Ossining was the only team that made that recommendation as part of its plan.”

All of the students who participated are currently enrolled in accounting, entrepreneurship or sports management business classes at the high school.

The team members were Veronica Galindo, Orlanys Arias, Rich Zeoli, Ryan Sweeney, Matt D’Emic, Jon Scorcia and Joe Direitinho. For their efforts, the team members will each receive a Kindle Fire and Ossining High School will receive the championship cup.

“As a business teacher, it was very gratifying to see the students perform at this level,” said Jacoby. “Before the presentation, one of the students said to me ‘You are going to be amazed Ms. Jacoby.’ But I wasn’t amazed because I know how capable they are. I was just glad to see that other people do as well.”

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