Personal tools

Omri Gal

From University Innovation

Jump to: navigation, search

As a savvy and hungry 5th grader, I was driven towards two things: candy, and money. Unfortunately, after continuously feeling my empty wallet rub against my thigh, I realized that the two had an inverse relationship. Throughout the school day, I dreamt of the various candy bars and gummies waiting for my arrival at the bodega. I thought of myself as their savior, rescuing them from an uneventful and short-lived shelf life. As soon as the chimes rang, signaling the end of the day, waves of saliva accumulated in my mouth, and I would sprint downstairs and out of the building. By then, of course, I had already decided which lucky item would be devoured on the subway ride home. 

A year later, I began to question why practically everyone in my grade so desperately needed candy. I suspected that my candy craving was neither sustainable nor healthy, but had always tried to ignore it, unsuccessfully. One subway ride home, while scanning a line of advertisements along the walls, I had my revelation: I’m going to sell candy. Within a week. I had four employees, all of whom reported their earnings to me at the end of each day. I had an Excel spreadsheet, tracking the items I had purchased, their price, units sold, remaining inventory, popularity, and profit. My commute home, from that point on, was transformed into a prowl for the cheapest treats in the area. Much to the chagrin of storeowners, I would walk from store to store, examining the prices of my selected products, determining whether or not it was a worthy investment. The baseline practice for my analysis was Dum Dum lollipops, the crowd pleaser, as well as my main source of revenue. Bags of 52 lollipops ranged from $2.75 to $3.25, to be sold at 30 cents a pop. Revenue: $15.60. Cost: $2.75. Profit: $12.85. Profit percentage: over 400%. Conclusion: good business. Repeat. The cursed inverted relationship between candy and money no longer applied. In two weeks, my underground candy ring gained school-wide recognition. I had profited an unprecedented 55 dollars; however, impressive as it were, my fame spread too fast and one person too far: the principle. The next day, I fearfully watched the school’s security guard, who was practically twice my size, approach me and bark “Are you the lollipop dealer?” My heart dropped. “No – no, I’m not.” Surprisingly, the guard gave me a look, turned around, and walked away. But it was too late, the damage had been done. Anxiously, I weighed my options throughout the day, and eventually decided to turn myself in. I approached the principle’s office, flanked by my guilty staff, preparing for a dignified surrender. It turned out to be a teary confession, with all remaining inventory, an estimated $12.50, handed over and lost forever. 

My entrepreneurial goals no longer entail becoming a candy mogul. During my Freshman year at Swarthmore College, I led a team of students to the finals of Swarthmore;s business plan competition. Recently, I was selected as one of four students in his class to become a Eugene Lang Opportunity Scholar, which grants students $10,000 to launch a social impact project. I currently am in the process of launching a Social Innovation Fellowship, which seeks to connect Swarthmore students with regional/international non-profits for semester-long design-thinking projects. Additionally, I am also one of the student leaders of Swarthmore's new Social Innovation Lab.

--

Omri Gal is a University Innovation Fellow at Swarthmore College, studying Psychology and Peace & Conflict Studies. His interests include social/cultural psychology, advertising and mass media, Middle Eastern history, entrepreneurship, and soccer. 

Related Links

Swarthmore College Overview

Swarthmore College Student Priorities

2018 Swarthmore University Innovation Fellows

Hanan Ahmed

Cassandra Stone 

Lamia Makkar


2017 Swarthmore University Innovation Fellows

Michelle Ma

Omri Gal

Natasha Markov-Riss

Mariam Bahmane