This past summer, high school senior Aleeka Prophet represented Hyde at Cornell University by attending Cornell’s Introduction to Business summer course. Cornell’s virtual summer course ties into Hyde’s dedication to college and career readiness and made a huge impact on Aleeka by exposing her to college-level coursework and teaching her more about her dream of becoming a businesswoman.
Aleeka worked on various projects, presentations, and case studies throughout her summer with Cornell. Her favorite project was “a simulation where I ran my own cafe! I hired my own employees, bought my own inventory — if it was high-quality coffee or organic coffee— and even chose the cafe’s furniture. I would make a decision every day and I’d see the results of the decisions the next day. Running the simulation helped me learn a lot about profit and gross margin.” Aleeka named her simulation the “Rise and Grind Cafe” and even designed a logo, advertisement, and slogan for the business. “I also got to participate in discussions where I’d answer questions about case studies,” explains Aleeka. “I read a Nike case study about how Nike came to be. I could see more of how a business like Nike started to learn what ways I could start my own business.”
In addition to her coursework, Aleeka shared how Cornell’s program has helped her prepare for college. Canvas is a tool employed by thousands of universities throughout the country for assignments and course materials, and Aleeka was able to get a head start on familiarizing herself with the user interface by using it to access recorded lectures and have discussions about the case studies. She was also able to connect with her college professor by asking questions and discussing course material during office hours. Overall, Aleeka’s participation in Cornell’s summer program led her to feel more confident in applying to Ivy League universities. “Cornell seemed like it was the best fit for me. The pace of the course went really well and the deadlines were reasonable. I feel like I can do it.”
In addition to taking Cornell’s business course, Aleeka proved her inspiring work ethic by also working at Shake Shack and taking an additional financial literacy course with NYC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). As Aleeka prepares to apply to numerous universities across the country, she continues to reflect on what she has learned at Cornell. Her determination inspires the Hyde community and we cannot wait to witness her develop a successful, fulfilling, and prosperous career in business.