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Elmhurst eighth-grade entrepreneur wants Cubs GM job

Eighth-grade entrepreneur plans to become Cubs GM

Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 4:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:41 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Sandburg Middle School eighth-grader Zorian Schiffman won a $2,500 scholarship for an essay detailing his plan to be general manager of the Chicago Cubs when he grows up.
Caption
Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Sandburg Middle School 8th grader Zorian Schiffman in his Cubs and business attire Monday April 14 2014. Zorian won a $2,500 scholarship through Illinois' Money Smart Week for an essay regarding his desire to be general manager of the Cubs when he grows up. He also created a business this year called www.brackethelp.net which offers statistics and analysis for the NCAA basketball tournament. He's already landed one investor and plans to work on an app for next year.

About Zorian Schiffman

Age: 13

Residence: Elmhurst

Siblings: Brother Anton, 10

Interests: Soccer, baseball, basketball, theatre

Business website: www.brackethelp.net

 
   

ELMHURST – Zorian Schiffman of Elmhurst can’t yet vote, drive a car or stay out past 11 p.m. on a week night.

But at 13, he’s already launched a business, won a $2,500 scholarship and has a better career plan than some college students.

“Zorian always has his eye on the next step,” said Zorian’s eighth-grade English teacher Frank Dahlman.

When the ambitious Sandburg Middle School student approached Dahlman with his plan to enter the Money Smart Kid Essay Contest sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Dahlman wasn’t surprised.

“I would say he’s my favorite teacher this year, and he’s taught me a lot about writing,” Zorian said about his English teacher.

Dahlman signed off on Zorian’s 300-word essay about how investing in his education would produce a return for investors.

In it, Zorian outlines his goal to become general manager for the Chicago Cubs.

He plans to pursue a finance degree, start out as a baseball scout and network through online sports management classes.

“It’s really about who you know, not just what you know,” the eighth-grader said.

The essay won Zorian a $2,500 scholarship sponsored by Country Financial.

Although he has a few years before he’ll need to decide, Zorian is already considering Duke University for college.

The dream all started when Zorian was 6, and his dad took him to a Crosstown Classic game.

“He took me to Wrigley for a Cubs-Sox game,” Zorian said.

While he came in with no intent to root for the Cubbies, the Friendly Confines won him over.

“There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted the blue team to win,” Zorian said.

While Zorian enjoys playing sports, he also has a passion for the management skills professional teams require. He plays an online simulation game called Out of the Park Baseball where he manages his own team.

“I’m more of a conservative general manager. My theory is that you always want to have some money with you in case something happens,” Zorian said.

He’s currently drafting a letter to Cubs President Theo Epstein about himself and his goals. Zorian said Epstein is one of the people he looks up to in the business.

Baseball isn’t Zorian’s only interest. He launched his own company this year surrounding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Brackethelp.net offers an extensive research guide about the 64 teams involved in the tournament for $10.

This year, Zorian said he accurately predicted 86.4 percent of the tournament game outcomes.

He started by selling the information in a packet to his classmates. Then an investor approached him to start the website business. Next season, Zorian plans to work on developing an app.

“Instead of just sitting back and letting things come to him, he’s kind of taking them for himself,” Dahlman said.

The pair share a lot of interests outside of sports. Dahlman said they often talk about politics as well as movies since Zorian also enjoys acting. After Zorian won the Money Smart Scholarship on April 2, Dahlman said he hung a photo of Zorian with his giant check up in his classroom for other students to see.

“He’s just a very humble kid when it comes to these things,” Dahlman said.

He hopes Zorian’s accomplishments will inspire other students to take a chance and pursue opportunities outside of school.

While Zorian has ambitious goals for his future, he’s already begun researching what practical steps he’ll need to take to reach them. The scholarship is just one of those steps, and he’s appreciative of it.

“I felt great [to win], and I felt honored because I knew a lot of people in Chicagoland entered,” Zorian said.

skills professional teams require. He plays an online simulation game called Out of the Park Baseball where he manages his own team.

“I’m more of a conservative general manager. My theory is that you always want to have some money with you in case something happens,” Zorian said.

He’s currently drafting a letter to Cubs President Theo Epstein about himself and his goals. Zorian said Epstein is one of the people he looks up to in the business.

Baseball isn’t Zorian’s only interest. He launched his own company this year surrounding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Brackethelp.net offers an extensive research guide about the 64 teams involved in the tournament for $10.

This year, Zorian said he accurately predicted 86.4 percent of the tournament game outcomes. He started by selling the information in a packet to his classmates. Then an investor approached him to start the website business. Next season, Zorian plans to work on developing an app.

“Instead of just sitting back and letting things come to him, he’s kind of taking them for himself,” Dahlman said.

The pair share a lot of interests outside of sports. Dahlman said they often talk about politics as well as movies since Zorian also enjoys acting. After Zorian won the Money Smart Scholarship on April 2, Dahlman said he hung a photo of Zorian with his giant check up in his classroom for other students to see.

“He’s just a very humble kid when it comes to these things,” Dahlman said.

He hopes Zorian’s accomplishments will inspire other students to take a chance and pursue opportunities outside of school.

While Zorian has ambitious goals for his future, he’s already begun researching what practical steps he’ll need to take to reach them. The scholarship is just one of those steps, and he’s appreciative of it.

“I felt great [to win], and I felt honored because I knew a lot of people in Chicagoland entered,” Zorian said.

– – – –

About Zorian Schiffman

Age: 13

Residence: Elmhurst

Siblings: Brother Anton, 10

Interests: Soccer, baseball, basketball, theatre

Business website: www.brackethelp.net

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