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Final Career Conference For The Year Discusses Accounting, Law, and Sports Marketing

On Tuesday, April 30, Catholic Central High School held its final career conference for the school year featuring guest speakers Jimmy Burns ‘04 and Mitch Eisenstein ‘05, who spoke on the topics of financial planning, accounting, law, being a sports agent, and marketing.  

Burns studied accounting at Hillsdale College and currently owns his own tax business. Prior to opening his business, he worked for Plante Moran. He explained to students that the path it takes to be your own boss is not an easy one, and he credits Catholic Central for instilling the discipline he needed to get to where he is today.   

“Getting here wasn’t fun. You’re working a lot of hours while studying for the CPA. The books don’t stop after college. In fact, they never stop. You’re talking 14, 15-hour days and a lot of sacrifice. That’s the type of stuff that had to transpire to get to where I’m at now as a business owner,” he stated. 

“Thinking back to my time at CC, that discipline really stuck with me more than anything. Doing things that others don’t want to do, that you don’t want to do, is the type of stuff you need to become successful. The things I learned here as well as at home, such as the competition in the classroom, wanting to be the greatest person you can be, those things were instilled in me at CC and they carried over into my personal and professional life, as a brother, father, husband, and son. I went to school with a lot of people, and no one has a relationship with their school like we do,” Burns continued.  

Eisenstein studied finance at Michigan State and specializes in the business side of sports, such as broadcasting deals and negotiating contracts for athletes. He’s also a lawyer. He agreed with Burns that Catholic Central helped set him up for success later in life.  

“You guys don’t know how blessed you are to go to this school. I don’t know any other school to bring in Nick Saban. Coming to CC, I was a little overwhelmed. Right away, what I picked up was the importance and emphasis on your grades and character. The grind here is real. You guys are sophomores. Now is the time to get after it. College applications are right around the corner,” Eisenstein stated. 

“I went to Michigan State and pursued every internship I could. I always loved sports. Law school was the ultimate grind. It takes an undying work ethic and I thank CC for instilling that discipline in me,” he continued.  

Both Eisenstein and Burns discussed the importance of developing your character while at CC. 

“Your future is bright, and CC sets you up for everything you could ever want to do. My advice to you guys as young men is to be very conscious of your personal brand. So much of what you guys do is available for the public to see and consume. When you’re applying to college, I promise you admissions will be looking at this stuff. Whether you’re bright or making mistakes, they’ll see this,” Burns explained.  

One student asked the speakers how they picked what college to go to. Eisenstein said there is no one singular road map to where you want to go. He explained that he attended Michigan State because his family went there but that there are many other directions you can go. 

Head Football Coach Justin Cessante ‘99 asked the speakers to discuss relationship building and why this matters down the road. Burns told students that networking and finding mentors in your life that you want to follow is important.  

“This school is filled with wonderful examples. I looked around and found the people I wanted to be like. I think it’s super important to find people you can relate to, look up to, and invest in. Find other people you can bring along with you in your life. At the end of the day, it’s a relationship world. You have to have people on your side who like you for who you are and want to work with you,” he stated.  

“Eye contact and a firm handshake take you so far in life,” Eisenstein advised. “You have to be able to engage and have a conversation. Jimmy and I didn’t know each other at CC and now I consider him a brother. You have to represent yourself, and in doing so, it doesn’t just take you. It takes a village. I recommend networking, meeting as many people as you can, and developing relationships.”  

“Follow up with people to build relationships, whether it’s an email or a handwritten note. When you guys are applying for college, shoot them an email afterwards and make your first impression last a little longer,” Burns advised.  

“People don’t just come to my door, hand over money and say, ‘Take it.’ It takes a lot of follow up. Following up on stuff humanizes the relationship and helps bring you closer. Ask about their family and little things. Pay attention to detail, invest in the relationship, and truly care about them. It’s not an act. Be a man that people want to work with. People want to associate with those characteristics,” Burns continued.  

The speakers were asked what classes they would recommend students take if they want to follow in their footsteps.  

Burns recommended accounting, tax, business, and finance classes. “You cannot go into marketing and then become an accountant. You need an accounting degree. Get involved in taxes and investments and join the finance club. You have actual money being raised here. The fact that you’re raising real money is amazing. We didn’t have anything like that when we were here,” he advised. 

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