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Virtual enterprise: a class for success

Academy of the Canyons: Students receive hands-on business education during in-depth course

Posted: May 18, 2010 6:45 p.m.
Updated: May 19, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Adventures Outdoors Company team from Academy of the Canyons visits Bakersfield for a trade fair where it came in first place for its catalogue and website. Back row, from left to right, Stephanie Adkison, Brittany Hynes, Katie Simon, Xavier-Quinn Roman, Claire Titcomb, Vivean Muna, Daniel Hartmann. Front row, Sophia Weiss and Nandinee Rajya...

The first day you walk into the virtual enterprise class, you don’t know exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into.

People are sitting around in a large classroom, just milling about, there are awards across the front board and billboards with advertisements depicting various professionals (or so they appear to be).

Mrs. Rubay, the consultant and owner of Adventure Outdoors Company, is standing at the front of the room looking pepped and ready for a new year with new “employees.”

After giving her introduction, as all teachers do on the first day, she gets down to business.

She goes in-depth explaining exactly what we will do as employees of Adventure Outdoors Company, covering everything from getting hired to understanding your role in the company and being successful both in class and real life.

This is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill high school course. It’s virtual enterprise.

Mrs. Rubay is our teacher here at Academy of the Canyons, and we are enrolled in a truly unique class.

In our class, a group of students comes together to form a fully functional company through virtual, computerized means.

The class is run in the same way as a real business.

In order to get hired, each student must submit a resume, three letters of recommendation and a job application. They then go through a professional interview and get placed into the department that best fits their qualities: administration, accounting, human resources, information technology, sales or marketing.

Once the “business” begins, the employees must create a marketing plan, “buy” a house and a car, create a check ledger and prepare for trade fairs.

The trade fair is an important event for the company, and is exciting for the employees that participate. The event has more than 10 competitions that employees get to participate in. Employees set up a booth that functions as the company’s storefront, and draws customers in to buy items.

The largest trade fair is in Bakersfield, and schools from across the globe come to participate. We placed in the catalog competition and received an honorable mention for company newsletter there. Adventure Outdoors Company also attended the San Diego trade fair. We made more than $1 million in virtual sales at San Diego, and came home with a first place for catalog, first for website, fifth for financial statement and seventh for video commercial.

Along with all the skills and knowledge obtained during the class, each student leaves with a tangible collection of work known as a digital portfolio, which holds everything they did in class and any extracurricular activities that make them a viable employee. The skills we acquire when we’re in virtual enterprise are necessary and valuable for any job, making virtual enterprise a class that is applicable to every aspect of a person’s life after high school.

By learning how to navigate our way through a virtual business, we will be ready for a real business once we join the workforce.
Brittany Hynes and Stephanie Adkison are students at Academy of the Canyons.


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