On February 13, University High School’s (UHS) Virtual Enterprise class attended the Virtual Enterprise Trade Show in Long Beach. At its second trade show of the year, the class presented its virtual business, UNIque Cupcakes, and received fourth place for the best Employee Newsletter and sixth place in the personal interview competition out of a pool of approximately fifty schools nationwide.
At the beginning of the year, UHS Virtual Enterprise students voted on their desired business ideas and decided to create UNIque Cupcakes, a “cupcakery” that sells customizable cupcakes virtually. UNIque Cupcakes allows customers to design their own cake with an array of frosting and toppings options. Each student in the class was assigned to work in the marketing, information technology, sales, accounting, or human resources departments and had specific roles such as designing, writing monthly newsletters, reporting sales, maintaining the enterprise’s website and advertising. The students were responsible for managing the entire process, ultimately combining all the separate parts in order to create the enterprise, which they exhibit in trade shows.
Trade shows encourage Virtual Enterprise students to present their business ideas, learn from other businesses and compete at various business-related competitions.
At the Long Beach trade show, the UHS class participated in the Employee Newsletter, Perfect Pitch and Impact Marketing Billboard competitions. Students also set up a booth that was judged on booth design and salesmanship. These students had opportunities to visit many other booths; each with its own unique business idea and product.
Chief Executive Officer of the UHS Virtual Enterprise class, Nicole Ross (Sr.), competed and received sixth place in the personal interview category. UNIque Cupcake’s Chief Operating Officer Kiana Schreiber (Sr.), presented her class’s business ideas at the elevator pitch competition in which contestants were given a short period of time to sell their ideas to judges. Ashley Akinola (Sr.), along with her partner Raya Dodin (Sr.), developed a company newsletter, which placed fourth overall in the Employee Newsletter competition. The class’s Human Resources Director, Akinola said, “I was very proud of our newsletter because it was a lot of hard work and took a long time to perfect.” The UHS Virtual Enterprise class will be participating at an upcoming trade show at San Diego on April 7.
Virtual Enterprise is a Regional Occupation Program (ROP) class. The class is designed to give students the chance to build and manage their ideal business. UHS adopted the class three years ago and Ms. Nora Seager (Social Science Dept.) is currently teaching this class for the first time. Students first decide, as a class, on the kind of business they want to create. Then, within the first two weeks of the course, the teacher conducts interviews for available positions. As students start working for their assigned departments to develop their desired company, they also build a resume representing their accomplishments and academic progress. This ROP class exhibits a structure similar to that of a corporation and is designed to allow students to gain experience in a business environment. Ms. Seager said, “What I hope that all the students leave this class with is teamwork–learning to help their teammates and get things done together. It’s definitely a different structure because it’s so similar to the real world.”
Virtual Enterprise offers hands-on opportunities for students of all levels to explore the business field and gain experience in the work environment. The UHS administration is currently deliberating whether to offer this class to fulfill the economics credit for high school graduation. This alternative would integrate macroeconomics concepts into UHS Virtual Enterprise’s curriculum. The class is available for any interested students to take if the prerequisite requirements are met and the student has no schedule conflicts.
By ANGELINE NG