Class of 1994
Frank Ramirez - Class of 1994
Thematic 'mood boards' are strewn across the conference room floor and as we pan our attention from one to the next, we can't help but linger on the "Sophisticated, yet accessible" board. This board, like all the others, is a collection of images, clippings, and drawings meant to evoke a particular emotion that we might want to capture with our SixPlus brand. On this day, we're drawn to the crisp, modern lines of the image of a luxury watch, the clean and professional fonts of a magazine clipping, and the unique shades of a color wheel. Soon, this decision will affect everything from what font we use on our business cards, to what colors we use on our website, and even the kinds of images we use on our marketing campaigns. As we wrap up the marketing exercise, I'm acutely aware that I have to prepare to interview a candidate for a coding position at half past 3pm. Later that day, I'll have to debrief my business partner about that and the strategic decision to launch our service in a new city.
This is a day in the life of an entrepreneur, and it's constantly changing as we adapt to new challenges. The role is difficult, but I feel prepared after a couple decades of learning and pushing myself. From degrees in Computer Science at FIU and a Master in Public Administration at Columbia University, to experiences tackling poverty at the United Nations in Bangkok and health reform in Tanzania as a Deloitte senior consultant, my collective experiences have all led me to where I am today. But things weren't always so clear.
As a shy and introverted boy transferring to a new school in the middle of 4th grade, I didn't know what to expect. I soon discovered how transformative my experience at CEA would be. It provided a supportive environment for me to mature at my own pace, and become more confident in who I was, and who I could become. All of my teachers embraced me and constantly pushed me. Together with a small classroom setting of some of my closest friends to this day, it helped lay the foundation for later confidence and success. I still look upon the 'Conchita years' as some of the best years of my life, and feel very fortunate to maintain such a strong connection with my 'alma mater'.