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Berardino '06 gives Conroy's classes a lesson in the hustle

"I was always a little bit of a hustler," William Berardino '06 told history teacher Frank Conroy's classes on Sept. 11. From hawking Snapple in grammar school for $0.50 less than the cafeteria, to turning a middling Manhattan Audi franchise into one of the top dealerships in the country, Berardino had a sound message for his fellow Gaels: "Be grateful. Bring your work ethic."

"You guys have a unique thing here," Berardino said of the atmosphere at the Prep.

The son of Porsche dealership parents, Berardino was known as "Jet Boy" at the Prep, hopping flights to here or there.  But he never lost sight of how hard his parents worked, or how the Prep paired a top-notch education with a working-class ethic.

In was in college at Babson, he said, where he quickly realized that very few of his classmates had a better education than him.  Knowing that he would not always been the smartest guy in the room, Berardino began making a career out of a simple principle.

"You're going to have to outwork them," he told Mr. Conroy's classes.

Berardino said he still abides by his former teacher's admonishments: get to work early and save 10 percent.  The first arrive and the last to leave his midtown office, the Class of 2006 alumnus now thrives on commission precisely because it validates his efforts.

He said listening is the best skill a salesman can have and told the students that at some point, they all have to be salesmen for themselves.

"Every interview that you do you're selling yourself," Berardino said, from college admissions to climbing the proverbial ladder.

Mr. Conroy '75 said he is looking to have an alumni speaker once a week.  Richard Giacomo '75 is lined up for Sept. 16-17, and John McCarthy, '79 will be coming in the week of Sept 22.  Other future speakers include Jim Murphy of Merrill Lynch, County Legislator Jim Maisano '81, engineer Peter Sposato '75 and entrepreneur Sean Oliver.

"William was a great, great kid," Mr. Conroy said.  "I enjoyed his energy."

Berardino certainly brought it back to the Prep on Sept. 11...along with his Audi A7.

Source: Mr. Frank Conroy '75