When a professor announces that there is a guest speaker extra credit opportunity, it usually does not matter who the speaker is or what the speaker is going to talk about. Most students attend simply to get the points in hopes of helping their grade in the class. One of my Marketing Professors, Professor Havrilla, announced in my Market Research class that there was an upcoming extra credit guest speaker opportunity. The next day, I went to the designated room and I did not even take the time to investigate who the speaker was or what he was going to talk about. Like many students, I just figured I would attend for the points. Within a minute after the speaker was introduced, I was highly intrigued. The speaker was Jack Kopnisky, a 1978 Grove City College Alumni. Dr. Kopnisky is from Manhattan and is the President and CEO of Sterling Bancorp. He has a successful history of transforming businesses.
Under his leadership, Sterling Bancorp grew from $3.2 billion in assets in 2011 to $32 billion in assets in 2018 (my.gcc.edu). Needless to say, he is a pretty successful guy. He offered some business advice and centered his presentation around those topics. He listed a few attributes that all successful people are, and it was very fascinating to hear. He said that successful people work harder than everyone else. Successful people read everything and keep up with current world events. Successful people are never satisfied; they always want to find ways to grow and improve. Successful people set goals. Successful people make things happen. The advice and insight that Dr. Kopnisky offered was so inspiring and it changed the way that I go about daily life as a business major. It changed the way that I view challenges and it inspired me to work harder than ever. I will always keep the things he said in the back of my mind as I go into my business career next year. So next time you can get some extra credit, my advice is to appreciate the opportunity and try to learn something from it. You never know when something is going to impact you and your career.