Scott Rostan & the Importance of Communication
At Training The Street, CEO Scott Rostan places an emphasis on the importance of communicative skills. In his mind, the future of the workplace will rely on three things: an ability to articulate specific findings, a cooperative spirit, and vibrant creativity. A hands-on entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Rostan describes himself as bouncing between the titles “principal”, “janitor”, “CEO”, and “advice-giver” on a daily basis.
BT (Emily Cheston): How have you defined success within the context of your company?
Scott Rostan: I believe that real success stems from the advancement of our students. This definition of success extends to our employees. One of the aspects of Training The Street is the level of employee retention we have. In order to maintain an enthusiastic workforce, we ask our employees what they want to achieve in their career here. By helping them achieve their goals within the company, we all succeed.
BT: Training The Street places a particular emphasis on experiential learning. What has been one of the most impactful lessons you have learned that could not have been taught?
SR: I personally think that most of the truly valuable lessons in economics were taught to me on the job. This is the real philosophy of Training The Street-- we create almost a simulation of the very real world where students can get “authentic” experience while making the mistakes they need to learn within a safe environment.
BT: Training The Street has recently expanded its reach to Hong Kong by partnering with an experienced M&A and investments professional, Jung Suh. Do you believe cooperative endeavors such as these will foster more global economic cooperation or competition?
SR: Jung is the right fit for us to establish a dedicated local presence in Hong Kong. It was very important to us that we spend the time finding the specific person who would make the most sense for the role. The world is definitely becoming more and more global. The Business Today International Conference is evidence of that and we continue to see it in our daily lives. We have also seen some negative reactions to this globalization in the form of actions such as Brexit and the current tensions we experience in America. I am sure that competition between different economies will remain strong and only continue to become more globalized.
BT: How do you think the existence of interpersonal skills will progress as business transactions, particularly within finance, seem to become more and more dependent on computations and data?
SR: While data will certainly remain vital to the future workplace, I firmly believe that communication skills will become increasingly valued. The ability the articulate and defend an observation of computational data is what really matters, and for that reason, the incoming workforce will need to have more of a balance between these two skills.
BT: Training The Street is approaching its 20th anniversary in the coming year. At this benchmark, what do you see as being your most unexpected accomplishment and where do you hope to see your work progressing in the following 20 years?
SR: I would like to think of our company as an education company that is tech savvy, rather than a tech company. Our focus is on teaching in the most effective way possible while keeping our clients relevant with the changing times. We are more concerned with making the most worthwhile expansions, rather than expanding just for the sake of growing. We want to make sure we are in the best position to take advantage of opportunities by using discretion of when to take on more.