Reaching for the Skyscrapers

Spartans visit New York City: in front of  9/11 Memorial tall building
De Smet Jesuit Communications

For some people who are born or raised in the Midwest heart of St. Louis, succeeding in the Big Apple can feel like a stretch. For business teacher Andy Lange, he wanted to show his students that careers in the finance capital of the world are within their reach.

Thanks to alumni connections and support from generous donors, 12 students spent three days meeting with successful Spartans and exploring the highlights offered by New York City. They received gracious hospitality from the Leo House, Cookie Dough Confections, and Xavier High School as well as Ryan Hormberg ’06, Dan Kramer ’80, Pete Kraemer ’84, Ken Moynihan ’84, Matt Sawicki ’01, Bud Schreiber ’76, and Steve Valentino ’84.

“My favorite moment of the New York trip was the time we spent in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), as well as our meeting with Mr. Valentino at the top floor of Deutsche Bank’s skyscraper,” said Nicholas Blattel ’19.

“I went into the trip knowing I was going to go into finance, but I was uncertain about which concentration I was going to focus on. After the trip and after talking to multiple successful alumni, I decided that I am going to pursue a career in the investment banking sector." 

"The trip definitely impacted my future career.”

In addition to the informative conference room sessions and alumni receptions, the business-minded Spartans enjoyed riding the subway, walking the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, eating lunch in China Town, attending a Broadway show at the Lyceum Theatre, and visiting the 9/11 Memorial.

“These guys were only a year old at the time of the events,” observed Mr. Lange. “When 9/11 happened, I was exactly where they are now—a senior at De Smet Jesuit.  It was pretty cool to share that while standing at the memorial fountains that used to be towers one and two.”

When asked about major takeaways from this experience, students reiterated the shared theme that hard work was the key to success.

“My best piece of advice that I learned,” said Mitchell Umbeck ’19 “was that in life you will have many careers but you will not achieve any of those by slacking off. You must work incredibly hard to get where those men are today.”


For more information on the recent trip to New York, the Ignatian Business Leaders (business club), or business courses offered at De Smet Jesuit, please contact Andy Lange. For more information about our alumni, please contact Patrick Morris, Director of Alumni Relations.

De Smet Jesuit would like to offer a special thanks to the following alumni, individuals, and corporations for their generous hospitality, networking opportunities, and cross-generational brotherhood.

James Greico, The Greico Group

Ryan Hormberg ’06, Moment Design

Pete Kraemer ’84, Chief Supply Officer, Anheuser-Busch InBev

Dan Kramer ’80, Wealth Strategies Group

Ken Moynihan ’84, LT Apparel

Lauren Simmons, Rosenblatt Securities

Steve Valentino ’84, Deutsche Bank

Matt Sawicki ’01, USGA

Bud Schreiber ’76, Brown Brothers Harriman

Kristen Tomlan, DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

The Leo House

Xavier High School


Photos courtesy of Jake Angus, Jeff Cernicek, and Andy Lange.

Spartans visit New York City: at New York Stock Exchange, one student takes selfie in front of monitors
Spartans visit New York City: at 9/11 Memorial
Spartans visit New York City: at New York Stock Exchange
Spartans visit New York City: group kneels in front of bull statue
Spartans visit New York City: students around conference table,
Spartans visit New York City: group in front of NBC News room
Spartans visit New York City: at New York Stock Exchange
Spartans visit New York City: group in room with projector and windows
Spartans visit New York City: at night on street with bright lights
Spartans visit New York City: in front of city skyline buildings in back, golden leaves on trees
Spartans visit New York City: at New York Stock Exchange, group looks at mobile device
Spartans visit New York City: in corporate office
Spartans visit New York City: in street of China Town
Spartans visit New York City: at conference table, wood paneled walls
Spartans visit New York City: at bakery, steel table, woman stands at head, pink mixer on table
Spartans visit New York City: four boys in coats in front of sign for pizza slices 2 for $3.50
Spartans visit New York City: group selfie inside automobile
Spartans visit New York City: group selfie inside room lined with books
Spartans visit New York City: walk down street with trees lit up
Spartans visit New York City: group around table with Adidas apparel

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