Jimmy is a rising sophomore here at Explo for the first time. He's been interested in business and marketing for a while now, making him the perfect candidate for Explo Marketing.

It’s your first year at Explo. How did you find out about the program?
I was really into marketing and stocks, and my parents went online to see if there were any summer programs with those subjects. And they found Explo.

What are your thoughts so far?
I think it is really, really cool. Everything we’re doing in Explo Marketing is so different from what I was expecting. I thought it would be much more of your typical class-based learning, but I’m so glad that it’s more free and open to include what we want to do. We’ve been working on reshaping a shoe company so that it functions better. Essentially the company was performing dreadfully and we have to redesign it and put our own spin on it so that it does better. We’re doing this in two different ways — one is strictly financial using simulation software, and the other is actually going to New York City and pitching our business plan to a real marketing firm.

How are your instructors?
They’re really cool — they know what they’re talking about and they teach it really well. All the people that they’ve brought to talk to us have just been phenomenal. They brought in a lady from L’Oreal, another woman from Sabra — they make hummus and dips and stuff. Today, we had the creative director from Elements — a design and marketing firm — who was helping to brand a new ice cream company called Tea-Riffic. It’s local to Connecticut and they make ice cream infused with tea. It was awesome. They brought in some for us to taste and it was probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted.

It’s probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to...the places that we live and eat and go to class, and the freedom that we have, is different from everything else I’ve done before. It’s really cool.

How’s your living group?
My living group is really fun. There’s no tension between us and we all get along really well. It’s a great group of guys. And my Residential Advisors, Jon and Matt, are just the greatest guys. Matt is just so chill and is awesome, whereas Jon can be a little more assertive, but he’s cool — they’re both awesome.

What are you favorite subjects in school?
My favorite subjects in school are probably math and science, but history is up there as well. But math and science are just more cool to me. Right now I’m in biology and I’ll be doing chemistry next year and physics the year after that. But really just science in general is my favorite.

How do the courses here compare to school?
It’s a lot more in-depth here. They go into a lot more detail and they have a lot more information than you would get from a regular course in school. They have — I don’t even know — probably eight to ten speakers already that have given us their perspectives on the field. It’s so different from reading out of one textbook, where you usually just get one point of view.

How did you get interested in marketing?
I’m not sure exactly. I think it started when I was around nine or ten and my dad showed me Crocs — the shoe company — before it was big and he made me a pretend portfolio on MSN money. Then he just let me wreak havoc on there and I thought it was the coolest thing — that people can make money by investing in other companies. That led me to how do you even make a company, and that just led me to coming here.

Is that something you’re interested in doing professionally?
Yeah, I think it would be awesome to learn how to take something that doesn’t exist and make it well known enough so that everyone knows what it is. To be the group of people behind that project would be so cool. I’m only going into my sophomore year, so it’s a little early to think seriously about college yet. Most likely something with marketing or business, though.

What are your hobbies?
Well, I have one big hobby, which is collecting sports memorabilia and baseball cards and then reselling them on the internet. I strictly do baseball memorabilia, but every once in a while I’ll find a wholesale lot at a yard sale with some football or hockey items and I’ll see what I can do with them. I could tell you anything you need to know about baseball, but football and hockey — I don’t know to much about them.

What’s your coolest find?
My coolest find would have to be — well, there’s newer stuff called 2011 Tops Triple Threats. No one's going to know what that is, but I bought a box and we pulled out a Nolan Ryan, Felix Hernandez, Roy Holliday triple autograph — the only one in existence — and it’s worth a little over $2,000.

That's amazing! So how would you describe Explo?
It’s probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to. Most programs — like a day or sleepover camp — aren’t the greatest things ever. But the places that we live and eat and go to class in here, and the freedom that we have, is different from everything else I’ve done before. It’s really cool.

What’s it like meeting people here?
I’m pretty sociable, so meeting new people is really fun. I was actually excited as compared to being nervous because I really like meeting people in general. And seeing all the different types of personalities and the way people talk and think is just so interesting compared to back home.

How are the staff?
They’re pretty nice — very hospitable towards us. They try their best to accommodate to you — and I will say that Will, who took me on the New Haven off-campus trip, is a really good guy.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Explo is awesome. Other people should come here.