Thomas W. Temesgen
Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
12th Grade
District of Columbia – 2nd Place Winner

Business Made Easy

    I had no pants on and little time to spare. I held a heated iron in my left hand and an increasingly delicious crescent in the other. I was stripped to a tank top, boxers, and socks as if it was my uniform. I laid the heated iron on my shirt and it seemed to rattle to attention. It was as if it awoke for a business day and it flowed over each wrinkle like a majestic king walking bare foot over the very land he owns. It glided and seemingly smiled at me. I stared back with entranced eyes. The iron scorched the light bulb above my head. 

    Today’s business men and women are like the very things they wear. Their smoothly ironed shirts and fine-tuned suits portray professionalism. These neatly pressed suits also emphasize a grandiose training. Training that programmed them to think critically and made them what they are today. Today, they are the connoisseurs of American society. Their influence is far-reaching and their knowledge is indubitable. However, the father will be always be surprised at the son. 

    The Greater Washington business men and women have evolved from wrinkles in their shirts to business cards in their suits. It is not a coincidence that babies are sometimes born wrinkly. Metaphorically speaking, a heated iron was never pressed onto their innocence. They never had been branded with someone else’s influence, nor trained to follow the status quo. There is no doubt in my mind that the most successful business men and women garnered their greatest success when they separated themselves from formal training. Formal training is my past and my future, but I understand that creativity is my now. 

    Today’s high school students are so desperate for independence that they refuse to think within the proverbial box and make that box no-existent. Without the constraint of a rubric, a whole new medium for thought is created. Creativity is our specialty. Our immature minds and painfully defiant spirit refuse to follow the book. With this imprisoned state-of-mind, we must venture mentally towards the freedom we passionately seek. We were all young once but high school students are young now, so we must continue to encourage their creativity and learn from their spirit. 

    Birth is the true start of ignorance and high school is it’s peak. A normal high school student is enveloped by their work and reaches even greater depth in their social life. Our sleepless happenings is stress’s perfect surrogate. However, we have no care in the world because we are both arrogant and ignorant. We believe that the end to everything is so far away that we always convince ourselves that tomorrow will be another day. The Greater Washington business community should adopt this train of thought because it makes everything simpler. Washington D.C. business men and women need not worry about the current battle for D.C. statehood because time will always be neutral. One of the greatest lessons a high school student learns is that in order to get time on your side, you must time it right. 

    I find it ironic that many genius business ideas often times are concocted during times of leisure. Bill Gates, co-creator of Microsoft merely wanted to grab the attention of MIT when he declared that he and others had created a micro-interpreter. Hard work does indeed equal success, but success is short lived in the realization that your happiest moments were lived sitting at a desk. High school is the introduction to hard work, but we still remember the days highlighted by nap-time. I reckon that most doctors believe success is life. Those who choose to work exclusively will garner both the envy and the pity of those around them. 

    As I piece together my thoughts to relay another lesson the Greater Washington business community can learn from high school students, I neglected to think about the very instrument I am using. The computer was created long before my time, but I think I have lived and understood enough in order to say that I am apart of the innovation. In a time where engineering is the both hottest and the hardest field to get into, some high school students know more about the internet than generation “I”. Arguably the greatest monopoly in business, Facebook was created by a college student who could not even drink alcohol legally. With technology that seemed unattainable thirty years ago in the backpacks of high school students, we have reached a point where business can be made easier by listening to those who do not even understand the business. 

    Power can be lost, but influence can never be taken. An often ignored concept, children usually align themselves politically with their parents and carry their parent’s beliefs through generations. A parent’s influence will undoubtedly affect a child’s actions, so a lot can be learned about a consumer through their child. The child could even influence the parent. Once a business enters the household naturally, then the trusted business will also be a part of the family. Washington D.C. is often looked at as America’s capitol and the mecca for politics, so sometimes the Greater Washington business community must implement politics to get a wider influence on D.C. 

    I like to think that I am a businessman myself. I have held numerous internships that were rooted in business and one aspect that was all important in the eyes of the trained officials was location. The perfect location makes the perfect company. The Greater Washington Region is filled with areas of great vitality and dead zones. In order to understand what is needed to liven up the dead zones, you must understand the people who actually live in the dead zones and why it is in fact a dead zone. High school students, specifically in Washington D.C. often use the metro for their commute to and from their school. During the commute there are transfers and a great deal of walking, so the students have gained a good knowledge of the city. One interview with a high school student can clear things up about corporate locales and even financial fluxes. 

    I checked my watch and it gave me a cold look. The crescent was now deep in my stomach and the iron laid across the room, tangled in wires. I put my pants on slowly so the creases would not show. As I put on my shirt, the warmth surrounded my torso. I put my shoes and grabbed an umbrella for any surprises. As I walked out the door, I gave a little smirk as I went to my first day at work.