Edward Erani '09 from Brooklyn, New York with hopes of finding employment in the corporate world before starting his own business.
What brought you to Hofstra?
It's close to home. I grew up in Brooklyn so I didn't want the real city life but I wanted to be close to the city. I also liked the idea of a private school and small class size. I had some friends who were here who gave me feedback and after visiting I didn't think twice.
How did you select your major?
Originally I was majoring in management but I saw Zarb was offering a new entrepreneurship class with Professor Richard Hayes. After meeting him and taking the introduction course I fell in love with the topic. He was teaching the next four classes that I needed so I decided to change my major to entrepreneurship and minor in finance.
What are your plans after graduation?
I'm looking for a job in finance. There is plenty of time for me to be entrepreneurial and innovative. I eventually want to be self employed but I think I need experience in the corporate world before I start my own business.
What are your long-term goals?
I'm actually writing a plan for a business idea that I have been working on. I don't see myself as a one-job person. I want to dabble in a few things including real estate. Even if I have my own business I want to have a secure stock portfolio. Life is too short to do the same thing everyday for the rest of your life.
Who is your role model?
My father is a classic entrepreneur. He owns three retails stores so I always saw myself expanding on the family business. He started from nothing and now does very well for himself. That has always been an inspiration for me.
How have our experiences at Hofstra prepared you for the workforce?
Hofstra provided me with more of a general knowledge in business especially in finance. Before, I didn’t have much knowledge in finance. Now I speak with brokers and agents. I am able to have intelligent conversations with them and they are impressed with what I actually know about the industry. I have even given my father advice from the lessons learned in class.
What did you enjoy most about the entrepreneurial program at the Zarb School?
The most rewarding thing was developing relationships with the professors. I go to Professor Hayes in entrepreneurship for everything. I can talk to him about business ideas I have or just stop by to say hello. I wrote up a business plan for my sister who is working on a start-up company, he looked it over and gave me honest feedback. It's really not his job to do that but he did it because he cares.
I also had Professor Glen Vogel, who is a law professor. I have no interest in the law but I had to take Legal 200 which is required. I developed such a great rapport with him that I would stop by his office once a week just to talk and catch up. Since I had to take an elective this year I decided to take his legal research and writing class while other business students were taking pottery and ceramics. The class is very difficult but I took it because he is such an amazing professor.
I genuinely feel like a have a strong relationship with a number of professors. And I feel like I will keep in contact with them even after I graduate.
What are some of your best memories here at Hofstra?
I love the fact that you work hard all day and you are able to relax with your friends in the evening. I think the overall experience at the school was phenomenal for me.
What would be your advice to current or entering students?
Pay attention in class. I go to all of my classes and I listen. I have a great GPA and during finals I'm not stressing out in the library. The teachers have a lot to offer and you learn more by going to class and paying attention.
Would you recommend Hofstra to a friend?
At other schools you see that they take tuition but they don't really offer anything new. One of the things I really like about Hofstra is that they constantly use the tuition money to make the school better by bringing in programs like Debate 08. The administration is actually spending the money wisely to create a better school. I read somewhere that President Rabinowitz wants the Hofstra diploma to be comparable to a NYU diploma in 10 years by getting the Hofstra name out there. I think he's doing a good job. That is why I would recommend Hofstra over some of the higher ranked schools because I think in the future Hofstra will be considered one of the top schools in the country.
What are some of the opportunities you were given here at Hofstra?
I actually obtained my internship from the Career Center but I think the best thing about Hofstra is that it gave me an opportunity to succeed. In high school I was somewhat of a slacker. When I got here and something came over me and I decided that I wanted to do well. I would go to the professor's office to get extra guidance and after freshman year it became easier for me. I really thank Hofstra because it really gave me the opportunity to do well in school.
What is the best advice you received from a professor?
It's not so much advice but inspiration. When I go to Professors Hayes and Vogel with business ideas, the smiles and enthusiasm they show is great. They ask questions, suggest changes and ultimately tell me if the idea is feasible. They are esteemed professionals in their fields so to get enthusiasm and feedback from professors like that really meant a lot to me. It motivated me to keep pursuing my ideas.
How do you think your time at Hofstra has prepared you for your future?
What I learned about business definitely gives me an edge. When I meet professions and I know what I'm talking about I can attribute that to what I have learned here. Also, formally meeting professors has helped in job interviews and class presentations helped me overcome my fear of public speaking.