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Baldwin High School Students ‘Venture’ to NYU Tandon Futures Lab

Academies Participate in Unique Shadow Day for Business World Exposure

This fall, students in the STEM/Engineering and Global Business & Entrepreneurship academies attended an exclusive Shadow Day at the prestigious NYU Tandon Futures Lab, New York City's inaugural public-private partnership aimed at developing a sustainable incubation program to boost success rates of startups and generate economic growth. Baldwin High School is the only high school to participate in this unique learning opportunity for practical exposure to the business world. 

“The shadow day at NYU Tandon Futures Lab proved to be an exceptional opportunity for Baldwin's students, providing them with practical exposure to the business world,” said Dr. Gabriella Franza, assistant director of instructional programs for Baldwin Union Free School District. “The experience has made a lasting impression on the students, leaving them with invaluable insights and skills that will undoubtedly serve them well in their future endeavors. We extend our gratitude to teachers and advisors, Mr. Jason Rudish and Ms. Jennifer Raleigh, for their support of our students during this event.” 

The Shadow Day began with a workshop on negotiation tactics led by Vadim Gordin, director of NYU Tandon Future Labs, where Baldwin students explored the art of effective communication in business. The exercise that followed the presentation served as an opportunity for the students to apply the skills learned and work collaboratively with their peers. The workshop highlighted the importance of active listening, empathy, effective communication, and preparation in successful negotiations, while also emphasizing that negotiation should aim to find a mutually beneficial solution, not just to "win." 

Rose Altshuler, a Baldwin High School student, explained that she learned a great ‘deal’ from the Shadow Day, especially how you must be diligent and persevere when launching your own company. “When starting up a business, it is important to realize that many people are going to say ‘no’ to your ideas and all it takes is one ‘yes’ to make your ideas a reality,” she said.   

“The trip to the NYU made me gain knowledge that I never knew I needed, like the powers of negotiation,” added Baldwin High School student, Dustin Corona. “The start-up businesses had to use their knowledge on negotiating to have investors fund their project. I learned that through awkward pauses, questions, and more that you can easily have someone get on a deal where you may both benefit.”

Following the workshop, the students heard from several startup founders actively working in the lab, including Harsh Sonthalia, Megan Fricke, Krzysztof J. Geras, as well as the managing director of NYU Tandon Future Labs, Craig Wilson. The entrepreneurs presented their ongoing projects, from an application capable of notifying a doctor about a patient's erratic heartbeat to a groundbreaking mental health app.   

Baldwin student, Yaelle Bisasor, explained her biggest takeaway. “I learned that soft skills can be learned. One of the businesspeople wondered how people naturally ‘attracted’ others and how they had a ‘warmth.’ He then taught us how to speak in a way that is persuasive and effective in getting a point across. By teaching us charisma, I believe any other soft skill can be taught, as well.” 

“Believe in yourself and aspirations even when it seems like the world is telling you no or that you are incapable of accomplishing it, confidence and resilience is key..,” Baldwin High School student, Amiya David, learned. “The only reason your idea is real is because of you so as long as you continue to persevere, eventually something will come out of it.”