Ridgefield High School business teachers Kelly Predham and Jesse Peterkin hosted the school’s third annual business symposium via virtual meeting on June 8.

Over the course of the semester, 75 business concepts students participated in an authentic market research project seeking to solve one strategic question: How can Spotify Premium become the #1 way high school students listen to music? The students conducted research, evaluated the competition, developed surveys, and analyzed the information. The analysis led them to their final recommendations for Spotify.

Thirty five Business Concepts students participated in the virtual symposium with Steve Kessleman, owner of DFT Strategy and a Ridgefield resident. Students presented their findings and made recommendations to Kessleman on how Spotify can increase brand loyalty and usage among teens. Spotify is one of Kessleman’s clients and he will be sharing the student recommendations with Spotify.

Freshman Jacob Sakindan said of his experience: “Although we didn’t have the opportunity to present in person, it was still a great experience to present virtually. I have never presented before in front of so many people in person or in a virtual meeting. Despite the challenges of working from home, our team was able to create an online survey and send it out to students using social media. I learned that even though my team had to work remotely, there is always a way to accomplish our goals.”

“These students really are remarkable,” said Kessleman. “I was surprised to see how quickly and thoughtfully they can study a topic and develop new ideas for my clients. The approach they’re learning with Jesse and Kelly is exactly how I work with clients, so these students are learning real skills they can use in college, internships, or to study and promote their own entrepreneurial ideas. Last semester, we shared findings with U.S. Soccer, and this semester we will share their ideas with Spotify. I originally expected these projects to be predominantly for the students, but they are coming up with real, tangible, smart ideas that my clients can use. It’s been a real joy to connect with the community and work with our RHS students.”

The RHS Business symposium integrates classroom curriculum with real world application, and brings together talented RHS students and teachers with local Ridgefield business owners to develop solutions to authentic, complex challenges. The business department is continually seeking to offer authentic projects in order to give students the opportunity to learn and create; working to their highest potential.

To find out how your business can get involved in our next symposium, contact Jesse Peterkin at jpeterkin@ridgefield.org.