John Howard stands in front of his class, writing marketing terms on the board. The students listen keenly and take notes as John shares his business expertise with them. John's varied experience, both through work and travel, make him a very popular teacher in the professional program.
Growing up in New Jersey, John had always been interested in New York City and the world beyond. After graduating from Lehigh University with a degree in Economics and a minor in Urban Studies, John continued his education overseas, although it was education of a different nature. Living in Germany and traveling throughout Europe during this year, John gained insight into his own country and his identity as an American. "I hitchhiked all over Europe," John remarked. "It was worth so much more than going to school. That's when I really became an American. You see your country from a different perspective when you're outside of it."
Upon returning, John moved to New York and got an MBA from Rutgers University. Newly graduated and living in the West Village, John enjoyed life in New York as he entered the music business. He first started working at the Bottom Line, a top industry music showcase theater, where he saw a wide range of musicians including such artists as The Police, Phillip Glass, Prince, Dexter Gordon, Elvis Costello, and so on. He then entered the corporate world when he began working in the information technology department at CBS Records.
Later, John moved to the brokerage business where he worked as an IT project manager for Shearson Lehman Brothers during the booming 1990s. After several years on Wall Street, John got the opportunity to return to the music company he had previously worked for which, by this point, had been acquired by Sony and was now known as Sony Music. He continued his career as an IT project manager at Sony, as well as his foreign travels, during this time until he, along with thousands of other music business employees, was downsized in 2003 as the music business severely contracted.
With this change, John decided to return to his love of internationalism and pursue a career in teaching English. He went back to school and earned an ESL degree from the well-known New School here in New York City. With degree in hand, John quickly relocated to Vietnam where he spent the next year teaching English. "I always wanted to live somewhere in Asia at some point in my life," John says. "It really was a great experience."
On returning to New York, John worked during a holiday season at Sherry Lehmann, a world-class wine store here in Manhattan. He then worked on the artist Christo's 'Gates' project, which was situated in New York's Central Park during the winter of 2005. He also spent time in South Africa providing IT assistance to the US-funded BizAIDS program which provides both business instruction and HIV/AIDS awareness information to micro businesses in southern Africa.
A Rennert instructor since 2006, John employs an open and motivated teaching style. He looks forward to the diversity in the classroom. "I love learning about different cultures and working with people from different backgrounds." Through teaching English, John has the opportunity to bring together both his business experience and international curiosity in order to create a unique classroom dynamic.