Rider business students return to Oxford for ‘Moonshots’ conference

At the Moonshots conference, he was able to discuss the idea with attendees who he says were kind to their time and ideas, helping him understand that when it comes to launching a product on market, perfection can often be the enemy of good.

“I understood the magnitude of this opportunity and wanted to make the most of it,” Fernandez says. “The entrepreneurs were warm and receptive, and I quickly understood that we were talking like old friends.”

Fernandez and the other students not only benefited from exposure to conference attendees; a variety of Rider-related people also attended. Rider President Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D., attended the conference alongside Dr. Ron Cook, Professor; Lisa Teach, adjunct professor and former director of Rider’s Center of Entrepreneurial Studies; Liz Carrion, Executive Assistant to the Dean; and Stephen Gerard ’84, author and entrepreneur, as well as Rider’s ambassador for the Birthing of Giants program who made a donation to help students with the cost of attendance.

Oxford is a familiar destination for Rider students. For years Rider has offered two residential programs in partnership with St. Stephen’s House, the permanent private hall at Oxford University.

In addition to the Moonshots conference (formerly advertised to students as the Innovation Intensive at Oxford), the Oxford Choral Institute is regularly offered to Rider pupils, mainly those of Westminster Choir College. The program began as a musical collaboration between composer Dr James Whitbourn of Oxford and Dr James Jordan, professor of conducting Rider. This led to acclaimed performances, the publication of scholarly manuscripts, books, and choral works, and a Grammy-nominated recording.

Now that she’s back from Oxford and has already accepted a job offer nine months before graduation, Wong is approaching her classes differently. “I think about how I can apply what I learn in class directly to my work,” she says. “It changed my perspective.”

Earnest L. Veasey