This story was submitted by Melody Luo, grade 11.
CareerConnect recently hosted a speaker panel to help students better understand how small businesses have transitioned from the pandemic. On March 5, Susan Dworak and Andre van der Bergh shared their insights on business management and how their companies have pivoted due to COVID-19.
Dworak is the CEO of ID Training, a startup that helps companies and government agencies verify identity. She discussed how her company adjusted the target market and business model to tailor more to individuals and also the future of identification. Meanwhile, van der Bergh, who is the founder of Team ID, introduced his company that offers business education through simulations. He shared the importance of listening to customers and transitioning the curriculum to online modules. In addition, both speakers answered many questions from students, giving insights into managing a startup and the importance of continual innovation.
The event gave students a deeper understanding of the many facets businesses have to consider in light of the pandemic. One student recalled an anecdote that Dworak introduced, “I found it interesting that an incident as small as an underage person ordering an alcoholic drink with a fake ID could lead to significant consequences like the employee being held accountable, which accentuates the importance of distinguishing between a real and fake ID,” said Kevin Zhang, grade 9. Junior Ysabel Chen commented that, “The event was enlightening because it shows just how far the impact of the pandemic reached and how we can’t always control everything, but we should do our best for what we can control.”
In all, the speaker panel was a rewarding experience for students, with everyone gaining a more comprehensive understanding of business operations and decision-making in these challenging times.