Gruber and Tonelli to attend elite biz conference

by Stuart A. Reid | 11/19/04 6:00am

Looking forward to a good dosage of schmoozing and elbow-rubbing, Dartmouth students Steve Gruber '05 and Alex Tonelli '06 will be attending an elite business conference in New York City this weekend, along with some of the top names in American industry.

The conference allows college students interested in business to interact with top business executives. Speakers at the conference include top executives from Continental Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, UPS and The New York Times Digital network.

Hosting the conference is Business Today, the largest student-run magazine in the country, co-founded by industry titan Steve Forbes when he attended Princeton University.

Titled "The Interplay of Business and Politics," this year's conference will feature speeches on how business and politics influence each other, a topic particularly interesting to Tonelli.

"As a government major, it's very intriguing for me to hear about the way that corporations lobby the government," he said.

Gruber and Tonelli said they view the conference as a unique opportunity to mingle with business executives and learn about the corporate world.

Tonelli described the event as "a good opportunity to have close contact with very influential people."

Gruber looked forward to "tons of networking opportunities." He added, "Besides networking, I think it's going to be just a great opportunity to discuss socially related topics."

After graduation, Gruber, a philosophy and physics double major, plans to pursue a master's degree and eventually become a patent lawyer. Tonelli plans to work in consulting or finance, and eventually go to either law school or business school. They both think the conference will provide them with useful business connections, made possible by a conference schedule that includes, according to Gruber, "a lot of time eating, talking and hanging out."

The selection process was competitive--Gruber and Tonelli are two of over 175 students chosen from an applicant pool of more than 2,000. Given the odds, Tonelli said he was surprised to be selected.

"I didn't think that I had much of a chance," he said.

Gruber, on the other hand, didn't have the opportunity to be surprised by his selection. He initially deleted the congratulatory e-mails from Business Today, thinking they were spam.