Poly Alums Share Wisdom With Senior Economics Course

This spring’s introductory economics course for seniors offered students the opportunity to learn from a series of guest speakers featuring our incredible Poly alumni! 

The course covered a wide range of topics. Guest speakers shared real-life experiences about their time as Poly students and their journeys to their careers. Speakers shed light on current events and helped students to dive deeper into topics covered in class. Such examples included the following alumni:

Jesse Myers ’06 began the semester by discussing the evolution of currency and the impacts of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. As Principal of Protocol Capital, a cryptocurrency investment fund, he shared his predictions on where Bitcoin is headed, and students asked clarifying questions about what Bitcoin is, how it is mined, and used. 

Pasadena City Council Member Felicia Williams ’90 shared her insights on how Pasadena’s economy has been impacted by the pandemic, and the relationship the economy and policy-making have on each other. She shared words of encouragement with students on how they can each play a role in the success of our city and vote with their dollars and actions. 

John Coogan ’07, the co-founder of Soylent, meal replacement drink, and Lucy, a nicotine cessation gum and lozenges company, spoke to the class about his entrepreneurial ventures and how marketing strategies helped set his products apart from other businesses, leading to marketplace success. 

Carolee Reiling ’89 shared about her entrepreneurial experiences at the biotech level and about some opportunities she encountered during the internet boom. Drawing parallels between then and now, she offered insights into selling businesses and lessons learned during her experiences co-founding SoftCoin, Inc., (a back-end patented infrastructure and web interface for large consumer packaged goods companies which provide web-based promotions and loyalty programs for consumers). She later went on to co-found UltraRPM, Inc., which developed proprietary algorithms and licensed data to identify domain names. 

Daniel Wohl ’11 has held roles across finance, business development, and government affairs at Tesla for the past few years. Previously, he worked on energy policy in the U.S. Senate and at a policy analysis firm. He shared insights into some of Tesla’s business models and the importance of energy-efficient vehicles for our future. 

Koko Archibong ’99, vice president and private wealth advisor for Capital Group Private Client Services, touched on the phenomenon experienced with GameStop. He provided students with beginning investing tips and suggestions about saving money while planning for the future. He shared the importance of being financially literate in an ever-evolving and exciting economy. 

Justin Leung ’05 oversees the new real estate investments in Southern California for Gaw Capital USA’s real estate private equity fund and is also the founder of a new real estate development firm. His insight into real estate offered students the opportunity to see how historic buildings can be salvaged and profited from, while simultaneously adding to the culture of a local neighborhood’s community, such as the purchase and restoration of the iconic Hollywood Roosevelt.

Thank you to our alumni for enriching the educational experience of our students with personal stories, career experience, and words of wisdom. The heartfelt messages of encouragement and advice were deeply appreciated by seniors who are now getting ready to embark on a new and exciting chapter of their lives after Poly. Thank you, Poly alumni!