Our final MTA Light is Senior Benjy Bral of Passaic, NJ.  Benjy is last year’s winner of MTA LEAD, a unique entrepreneurial program designed to provide our students with lasting business and communal leadership skills through high school and university leadership training.  Participants are mentored by industry leaders and also participate in the Doris and Dr. Ira Kukin Entrepreneurial and Executive Lecture Series at the Sy Syms School of Business.  MTA LEAD empowers students to build on their entrepreneurial ideas and create meaningful and sustainable projects.  Project ideas are presented to the Executive Council, which reviews each idea and helps advise students in preparing a business plan.  Finalists are then chosen to present their business plans to the Executive Council, which selects an overall winner.  I joined MTA LEAD because I had an idea for a card game and wanted help bringing it to market. It’s a great opportunity to get the experience, advice, and connections that I needed to make my card game a success.  The program really helps MTA students turn their business ideas into a reality as we develop lifelong skills that we can take with us when we enter the working world.  The guest speakers brought in for MTA LEAD really helped give me a sense of the branding I needed to develop for the game as well as a feel for the technical details like manufacturing and shipping.  I worked on my game for over a year, and spent a lot of time creating the cards and rules, until finally, it was ready.  I hired an illustrator for the cards and created a website, video, and marketing plan.  For the illustrator and videographer, I spent hours on Upwork, a website similar to Craigslist, bargaining with people from the Philippines to Spain, and eventually hired a man from Ukraine who fit both my aesthetic and budget.  I personally created the website, using some of my knowledge of coding from AP Computer Science and a lot of Google.  For the marketing plan, I reached out to different game developers, who are also successful crowdfunding managers, for help and landed a spot in the Metatopia Gaming Convention in Morristown, NJ, where I got valuable advice from experienced game developers.  By participating in MTA LEAD, I learned priceless business and entrepreneurial skills, which I plan to share with other students who are interested in developing their own products.  I hope to teach other students that in business, it’s okay to fail or change directions as long as you don’t give up.”  Thank you, Benjy, for using your leadership skills to light the way for our student body.  We can’t wait to watch your continued growth after graduation.



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