When 2015-2016 student body president Timos Pietris was accepted into Marist as a high school senior, it was the last school he expected to fall in love with and later attend, in part because his older brother, Christos, went there as well.
“It was just me, my mom and my brother growing up. My mom really wanted me to come here because she thought I would have a lot of fun with my brother,” the senior explained. “But I said, nope, I want to be my own person. I don’t want to be ‘Christos’ younger brother’ for the next four years of my life.” Timos respected his mother’s opinion, though, and knew that she only had his best interest in mind.
“My mom worked 18-hour days until she fell at work in 2007 and herniated two disks in her back, leaving her permanently disabled. Even among all of her own stress and hardship, she never stopped putting my brother and I first,” he said. Fast forward three and a half years, and Timos took his mother’s advice. Not only does he attend Marist, but he has become more than just a regular face around campus. He has become a household name.
Throughout the duration of Timos’ three and a half years at Marist thus far, he has run for office three times and was elected twice. During his sophomore year, Timos put his desire to stand apart from his brother aside when he served as executive vice president throughout his older sibling’s term as student body president.
Despite this, Timos has fully proven to be his own person. His positions in leadership roles began well before his college career, as Timos was no stranger to business meetings and leadership conferences or boardrooms, even in high school. He was the president of his high school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and he sat on his district’s board of education, where he dealt with the changes in New York State food regulations in public schools.
“Through FBLA and the board, I really got clued in on how cool business was without really knowing what it meant to do business. I was thinking of either being a business major or a finance major in college, so this helped me decide that yes, I wanted to pursue the business field,” Timos explained. Now as a senior majoring in double applied math and finance, he has a number of financial endeavors under his belt, including an internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and another working with wealth planning and management at D.A. Davidson Companies in California.
In August of 2016, Timos and fellow student Alex Warfel launched a financial opinion website called SnoQap Financial, where they publish weekly articles on relevant topics that may also interest and be beneficial to those who are not immersed in the business world. The website aims to, “put very complex things in the financial world into small concepts that people can understand. It’s a conglomeration of things we find interesting in finance, but they might require more in-depth research,” Timos said. During the fall 2016 semester, Timos wrote a piece on the effects that Hurricane Matthew had on the economy, as well as one researching the negative interest rates of banks across the world.
Timos and Alex are also currently working on a start-up company called Modern Softwares, a small business that helps other small businesses to grow their brands and achieve their goals through information technology and software solutions. Ideally, Timos wants to be self-employed someday. He is motivated by Alex’s idea that, “When you work for someone else, you work for their dream. You put your own dream to the side.”
“The hope for the future is to continue Modern Softwares, and I’m sure every kid that starts a company says, ‘this thing is going to take off and we’re going to be good,’ but we have time to screw up now. We’ve got time to fail and we’ve got time to lose, so I’m willing to try,” Timos said. Despite having worked hard for all of his successes and opportunities, Timos knows that when it comes down to it, his family has always been what kept him going.
“I truly owe it to them for everything that I am today,” Timos said. As for living in his brother’s shadow, Timos realizes that he is a better person because of it. “My brother had always been the person that’s driven me to become better, whether on purpose or by accident. When my mom was at work, he would be the one not only watching after me, but also shaping my character,” Timos said. He continues, “Even though I try not to be stuck in his shadow, I’m lucky that it’s not a bad place to be.”