DiRienzo getting down to business

Mia headshot

Photo by Rebecca Isenhart

Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA — Mia DiRienzo’s teachers recently chose her to be Niskayuna High School’s Business and Marketing Educators Association Outstanding Business Student of the Year.

That’s a mouthful. Basically, it means DiRienzo is a force to be reckoned with.

Even as a high schooler, she has learned more about the business world than some adults. She even likes accounting class. Five years from now, after completing accelerated coursework, she expects to graduate with an MBA from Union College.

“I actually really love school,” DiRienzo said. “My business classes are probably some of my best memories, just because I love it. They’re the classes I want to go to.”
Janice Lindsay, one of DiRienzo’s business instructors who has taught her in two separate classes, was rooting for her when it was time to choose this year’s Outstanding Business Student of the Year.

“There are four business teachers, so we have to have a unanimous decision,” Lindsay said. “It’s tough because we have a lot of best students. We have a lot of shining stars.”

In the end, DiRienzo’s plans to pursue a career in business, coupled with her extensive involvement in seemingly every corner of student life at the high school, made her the choice for the department.

Lindsay nearly ran out of breath as she struggled to list all of DiRienzo’s many projects. She has been co-editor of the Niskayuna High School yearbook, head of the logistics committee for the Relay for Life and an active member of the Key Club and the Future Business Leaders of America.

DiRienzo also belongs to the National Honor Society, has managed the Niskayuna boys’ lacrosse team for four years, and played field hockey throughout middle and high school.

After doing so much, DiRienzo is ready to focus her energy solely on her career goals for the next half-decade. It’s a big decision. Along with her classes, her two older siblings have inspired her to commit.

Her brother, who has a degree in finance and business administration, promised her it would be easier to break into the field with an MBA under her belt. And her sister has the dream job.

“My sister does marketing and advertising, and I don’t want to say that I’m copying her, but she loves what she does,” DiRienzo said. “I want to do something that combines business and a little bit more of a creative side, so advertising or marketing, I think, would suit me.”

DiRienzo says she’ll miss her friends, teachers and especially her third sibling, a twin sister who plans to attend college in Rochester. “I’m really going to miss high school,” she said.

Still, DiRienzo is ready for her next challenge.

“I love school here because you do so many things, but I think it’s really time to do what I want to do,” she said.


Q: If you could set your life in any fictional story, what would you choose?
A: Probably “The Great Gatsby.” The ’20s just seemed so awesome. That’s my Halloween costume. I want to be a flapper.
Q: If you could work in the advertising department for any company, which would you pick?
A: I think beer advertising is really, really good. During the Super Bowl, the commercials people remember are the beer commercials — they’re funny, and those are the ones people remember. I want to be a part of that.
Q: If you could have a vacation home anywhere, where would you put it?
A: My family always goes to the Outer Banks, so I’d probably put one there, big enough for everyone, so we could all go.
Q: What are five things from your life now that you know you’ll bring to your dorm room in college?
A: My phone, obviously. I have this really big comfy pillow that I keep in my bed, so I’ll definitely bring that. My straightener, gotta have that. Pictures of my family, my friends, that’s all over my room now, but I’ll definitely get more. And definitely a lot of Chapstick. That sounds go crazy but I go through Chapstick like you wouldn’t believe, so I’m going to have a stash.
Q: What do you think is the thing that’s going to bring you home?
A: My family and my friends. I’m really going to miss them. I know a lot of people say their best friends came from college, but I really do think that I have a lot of good friends from here.

About the Author

Rebecca Isenhart
Rebecca Isenhart is the reporter/writer for Your Niskayuna, presented by the Daily Gazette of Schenectady.