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College Students for a Day

College Students for a Day
Jim Norman

Ten Saints got a peek into their potential futures recently thanks to Canterbury alumnus and parent Gregory Coleman ’72, P ’05.

An Adjunct Professor at the New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business—as well as past President and Board Member of BuzzFeed—Greg invited students to come to New York City and spend an evening in his Digital Media Innovation class. The master’s-level course features a regular rotation of guest speakers from the digital marketing world and beyond. 

For this session, three speakers shared their experiences from two leading segments of the industry—venture capital and cryptocurrency. First up were Andrea Hippeau and Caitlin Strandberg, partners at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage venture capital fund. They spoke of how they began in the venture capital business and showed a presentation from a company seeking funding from them, sharing what they did and did not like about it. Lerer Hippeau receives thousands of these presentations every year. 

“It made me think about the value of investing in companies and, if I start my own company in the future, to be aware of how you present yourself to venture capital,” said Eva Berkovich ’24. “I always thought the idea of venture capital was interesting because you have opportunities to be a deciding factor in the success of a company that can make positive changes in people’s lives.”

The students then heard from Pascal Gauthier, the Chairman and CEO of Ledger, a leader in security and infrastructure solutions for cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications. Pascal discussed the future of payments, the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse, and the value of Bitcoin as a currency that needs no conversion from country to country. 

Participating in a graduate-level college class, even for just a few hours, was a big jump for our high school students, particularly the younger ones—and it left quite an impression. “Having the opportunity to attend an NYU class was surreal,” Alexander Avedisian ’25 said. “It was great to hear from the speakers and discuss the effect of SVB's collapse on the business world and currencies of the future.”

And even after this class concluded, Greg was not done giving our Saints the opportunity to learn from even more industry leaders. The following week, they were invited to Zoom in to a class featuring guest speakers Blake Chandlee, President of Global Business Solutions for TikTok; Entrepreneur and Investor Mark Cuban; and Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg.

The hospitality and support of their host did not go unnoticed by the students in attendance. “A big ‘thanks!’ to Professor Coleman for making all this possible,” said Matthew Lappin ’23. Matt speaks for all of us here at Canterbury, Greg!