Virtual Enterprise Class Performs Well At Recent Conferences


Grace Aitken, Op-Ed Editor

The Virtual Enterprise class has just returned from the California State Conference & Exhibition in Bakersfield. Even though it is in its initial year at a class at SJHHS, the students won many awards, including the Gold Award in Salesmanship. Emily Wale (10) and Alexander Royal (12) won a Gold Award in the Human Resources competition, and Royal won the Job Interview Competition, which is one of the most competitive out of the entire conference. This is the biggest conference they have been to yet this year.

So far, the class has been to a practice trade show at Fountain Valley High School and the San Diego Conference and Exhibition. In San Diego they won Silver in Salesmanship and Bronze in Novice Booth Design.

The Virtual Enterprise class was introduced this year and gives students a way to learn how a business operates in an educational setting. The students, with very little interference from the teacher, have set up a mock company and run it themselves, dealing with sales, taxes, marketing, and other aspects that come with running a company.

It is modeled as close as possible to the real world, but at the same time it’s on real money so there’s no risk involved and its a learning experience

— Alexander Royal

“It is modeled as close as possible to the real world, but at the same time it’s on real money so there’s no risk involved and its a learning experience. We get paid every month, and we have to pay our bills, then with the money left over we buy products at these conferences. It’s kind of like its own virtual economy,” said Alexander Royal (12), CEO of the company.

They each have an individual job that comes with its own responsibilities and experiences. For instance, Emily Wale (10) is VP of Human Resources, and is mainly in charge of the company’s staff.

“We just got two new students, and so part of my job was getting him integrated in the company, making sure he’s comfortable and knows what the business is about. That’s one of my favorite parts about the job because I love people,” said Wale.

Throughout the year, the students have been traveling to other high schools participating in competitions. They compete in many different aspects of the company, the main prize being overall best business. They also compete in website design, newsletters, branding, commercials, and pitches. These compare many different individual aspects of a business together.

One of the main parts of the competition is Salesmanship. The students set up a booth for their company and have to walk around to other booths advertising their product. They have to interact with people from other schools which helps develop essential life skills.

“[At the conferences] people come up to me and ask me questions that were not written down before, and I have to come up with responses based on what I know, so it’s a very hands on kind of learning experience,” said Gillian Martin, VP of Sales.

The class hopes to get funding to attend the Los Angeles Area Conference & Exhibition on February 13.