By Claire Luo, grade 10
More than a dozen Harker students attended the QuickBooks Connect Conference at the San Jose Convention Center last week as part of Harker’s CareerConnect program.
This year’s topic was “Anything is Possible.” Attendees listened to a welcome speech from Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, who explained the power of connections and the importance of hard work to achieve goals.
Next, Intuit’s executive VP Sasan Goodarzi (who takes over as Intuit CEO in January) spoke about Intuit’s innovative technologies that can help small and large businesses grow. Afterward, attendees got to hear journalist Lisa Ling interview a panel of three entrepreneurs about their experiences starting their companies.
Dylan Lauren, founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar, spoke about how she combined art, fashion and pop culture to create the world’s largest candy store. Jamie Siminoff, founder of Ring, a company aimed at reducing crime in neighborhoods using a Wi-Fi video doorbell, spoke about how his company grew from a Shark Tank reject to a billion-dollar company. The third speaker was Simon Enever, founder of Quip, a company dedicated to making brushing teeth simple and better. Each speaker gave meaningful insights on the process of starting a business and shared interesting experiences from his or her own journey as an entrepreneur.
“It was super duper interesting and just a great experience. I learned a lot about managing your business and just how to make your business thrive and grow as a whole,” said Laszlo Bollyky, grade 9.
For the rest of the day, attendees explored company booths and attended breakout sessions. This year, there were 90-plus companies with booths, including Chase, Aero, PayPie and Gusto.
“We learned a lot about how to network with people and how to interact with people to make connections,” said Michelle Liu, grade 9. “Most of the companies we talked to were the payroll companies. The people would talk about the company, and ask if we had questions. It was a very good learning experience.”