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Stern Singles Presents: Ben Tantanella

Summer is right around the corner and it is getting hot in the latest addition of Stern Singles. 

Our newest featured bachelor, our Mr. May, is none other than Ben Tantanella.

Sternie Testimonials:

“Ben helped me buy lingerie for my partner. If there is a lovely lady out there interested in Ben, she should know that underwear is part of the deal.”

We’ll touch more on this momentarily, but wow, great way to break the ice.

“This handsome boy is a gentleman on the streets and a freak in the sheets. By sheets I mean balance sheets…yes, Ben will help you with your accounting homework.”

I’ve got a fire sale on my bottom line if he’s interested. 

Ben Tantanella is a renaissance man, a modern day Atticus Finch, never negligent about a negligee, and sweeter than a bee wooing honey out a posey bud. Ben grew up in Savannah, GA and carries that identity with him through these mean streets of New York. A friend said: “I think my favorite thing about Ben is that he is true to his roots. Talk to Ben about his hometown, family, or mom, and his face lights up.” I met Ben on the LSG Winter Getaway this year. Simpler times. Ben had us all entranced as he described an “entrepreneurial venture” regarding… personal products, that was simultaneously so hilarious and too well thought out, that I wasn’t sure if he was joking or not. Ben, if you’re looking for investors, I’m your guy. I just need, like, any money first.

So Ben, tell me about yourself, what brought you to New York? 

I had just returned from a 6-month Eat Pray Love style jaunt through India and Southeast Asia and living in Savannah teaching high school physics. I was feeling particularly fed up with our public education system when PepsiCo reached out to me about a big boy job in New York. I left without hesitation and never looked back. Except for holidays. And weddings. And during pandemics. Actually. I go back to Savannah a lot. 

I’m trying to imagine you teaching Physics… and what do you do now?

Packaging Development for Victoria’s Secret. 

You’re just a sweet vidalia aren’t you? So what brought you to Stern?

I wanted to keep working and I wanted to stay in New York. Stern offered me the chance to get a top-tier MBA without putting a two-year pause on my life.

What excited you most about coming here?

NYU was one of the first colleges I ever heard about. It had always been a dream of mine to go here. I still can’t believe it sometimes. 

Did anything worry you about starting grad school?

Money. The debt feels overwhelming and sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about it. I justify it by recognizing that I’m betting on myself and my own potential. Every generation has to make big bets on themselves.

Preach brother, alright a few more Stern questions and we’ll get into it, what’s your favorite part of the program?

The people. Sometimes I look around in classes and at events and am just overwhelmed by the accomplishments of my classmates. It’s very humbling. 

Favorite class so far?

Probably Accounting with Billings. I think just because it surprised me that she was able to make me like something that is so seemingly boring. A true testament to her abilities as professor. 

Freak in the sheets indeed.

…what?

Nothing, nevermind.. Favorite event at Stern so far?

Probably a tie between Winter and Fall Retreats. 

Can’t go wrong with either. Are you involved with any campus groups?

I’m the AVP of Collaboration for LSG ’20-’21. I haven’t had to do much yet but hoping that changes soon. 

Heck yeah, I’m VP of Relations for the Oppy, let’s relate and collaborate this business. 

Alright Ben Tantanella, Education and Sustainability enthusiast. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

I think my favorite thing about me is my optimism and adaptability. I’m very fortunate to have a natural positive disposition, and the struggles I’ve encountered in my life have really helped me learn to live in the moment and be very thankful for what I have. 

What excites you?

Ideas. I love brainstorming and talking about new things.  

What scares you?

Going blind.

That’s the most honest answer I have received to this question. 

Describe your ideal first post-quarantine date? Really explore the space, paint me a word picture. 

It’s post-corona. All bands are touring to offset the financial impact of the crisis/provide a general boost to morale. The larger venues are all booked so bands must take to playing smaller, more intimate shows. Daft Punk has announced a 10-day residency at Webster Hall. LCD Soundsystem is opening. I’ve got two tickets for the first night. We go for drinks in the East Village. The show is outrageous. We dance ourselves clean. The show finishes and we both agree the night must go on. We make our way over to the late show at the Comedy Cellar. We get in no problem. Surprise line-up is Mulaney, Aziz, and Chappelle. We end the night exhausted from dancing and laughing, but exuberant from what has been the coolest date of all time. 

I am a fan of this imagination. Describe the worst date you’ve ever been on?

She was VERY into Phish 

And the best?

A Bumble date took me to a Sharon van Etten show one time. The opener was supposed to be Fred Armisen, but he had to cancel so he could be at the Emmy’s. So they got JOHN MULANEY to fill in. He did a 20-minute stand up set and then Sharon played an amazing show. It was the only Bumble date I’ve ever been on and I’m scared to go on another one because I don’t want to ruin it.

Tough act to follow bumblers.

What are you looking for in a partner? 

I’m looking for someone who makes me feel more like me than I do when I’m alone.. Someone who is driven and independent.. but recognizes the strength that the right partner can bring. Would also be nice if she would help me sing the lady parts of classic early aughts Hip Hop ballads like Dilemma by Nelly ft. Kelly Rowland and Hey Ma by Cam’Ron. 

Controversial choice to not include “Mesmerize” by Ja Rule and Ashanti.

Do you have any deal breakers in a partner?

Phish…

I’m noticing a trend. Favorite NYC bar?

Tropical 128. Will be their first customer when they open again.

Favorite quarantine song?

“The 59th St. Bridge Song” by Simon and Garfunkel to lift my spirits

Are you human, or are you dancer?

 Yes. Only alone. Not pleasant when I dance in public.

What’s the first 1st song you want to party to when the quarantine is lifted?

All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem. And I want ALL of my friends to be there. 

Favorite sef-isolation podcast?

Planet Money

Favorite book? Or your favorite book you read recently?

I just read “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight. He founded Nike and his story is pretty interesting. 

How are you handling quarantine?

I’ve been working remote and taking on some new hobbies. I’ve been running and gardening and playing video games. Very thankful to be in Georgia where I can go to the bowling alley and get massages. I think I’ll start that next week. 

Are you getting better at anything during this time?

I’ve lost 10 pounds! I’ve been a lot more conscious of my diet and have been saving lots of money by eating in and not drinking. 

Well color me surprised! Not at you losing weight (congrats btw) but just that anyone is capable of not drinking right now.

Favorite isolation meal?

Ham and cheese in a wrap. Been eating it for lunch everyday and it reminds me that I’m saving money, but also that I’ll get to eat Cava again one day. 

This sounds weird but I forgot what it was like to just have deli meat and cheese in your fridge. Big development in my sandwich making world. 

What do you want to do after graduating?

Start a company. Be a business school professor. Live in Berlin. Get married. Have kids. Make it all the way through The Wire. 

The Wire sounds like the most lofty goal there.

Finally, anything you would like to tell your potential suitors?

Be sure to mention this article when sliding into my DM’s @bentantanella_animalfella 

There you have it folks, Ben Tantanella, HUGE Phish fan, striving to push sustainability to the forefront of business and education. Give the man a shout if you’re looking to Collaborate, he’s official now. 
If you would like to nominate a classmate for future features of the Stern Spotlight, please email the Oppy staff at Oppy@stern.nyu.edu.

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