Area students spend a week preparing for life after high school

What does a tomato fight, the Timberwolves, and the Salted Nut Roll bar have in common? They were all major topics presented to BestPrep’s 32nd annual Minnesota Business Venture (MBV.)

“Through MBV, I learned how many variables are involved in the process of launching a company,” Alexandra Shilko, a student at Maple Grove Senior High School, said. “I received great insight into the challenges of starting company.”

Several students from Maple Grove spent time at the St. Cloud State University session of the BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture event in July. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are: Miranda Stratton, Morgan Schoo, Alexandra Shilko and Neeharika Bondalapati. Back row: Harshil Chahal Aniket Ketkar, Sean McKenna, Karthik Bokka and John Grant.

Several students from Maple Grove spent time at the St. Cloud State University session of the BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture event in July. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are: Miranda Stratton, Morgan Schoo, Alexandra Shilko and Neeharika Bondalapati. Back row: Harshil Chahal Aniket Ketkar, Sean McKenna, Karthik Bokka and John Grant.

MBV is a business and career skills program held in partnership with the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University and the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at St. John’s University. Over 350 students representing 102 schools took a week out of their summer to prepare for life after high school, learn how to start their own business, and improve their financial literacy skills.

Osseo Senior High students Oluwatunmise Fawole and Oluwatoyosi Arogbokun attending the Minnesota Business Venture program’s St. Cloud State University session in July.

Osseo Senior High students Oluwatunmise Fawole and Oluwatoyosi Arogbokun attending the Minnesota Business Venture program’s St. Cloud State University session in July.

More than 150 generous sponsors donated funds to support students’ attendance and made this opportunity available for Alexander Esuoso of Heritage Christian Academy and Karthik Bokka, Neeharika Bondalapati, Harshil Chahal, John Grant, Aniket Ketkar, Sean McKenna, Morgan Schoo, Alexandra Shilko and Miranda Stratton of Maple Grove Senior High School and Oluwatoyosi Arogbokun, Jovy Cheam, Oluwatunmise Fawole and Nick Wagner from Osseo Senior High School.

Nick Wagner and Jovy Cheam off Osseo Senior High School attend the St. John’s University session of Minnesota Business Venture in July.

Nick Wagner and Jovy Cheam off Osseo Senior High School attend the St. John’s University session of Minnesota Business Venture in July.

Over 170 Minnesota entrepreneurs and business professionals volunteered to share their experiences and business insights with the future workforce. Students were met with a gamut of speakers from companies such as: College Nannies & Tutors, JK Clothing, the Midwest Tomato Festival, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Pearson’s Candy Company, and Share Save Spend.

Local business professionals, known as Resident Business Leaders, served as mentors to the students throughout the program. These volunteers lived on campus for the week and guided a small “company” of students through the curriculum and interactive activities.

BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture has more than 10,000 program alumni. Andrea Hanson, Minnesota Business Venture’s Director, said “Minnesota Business Venture is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain skills that will help them in their future. The interviewing, teamwork and communication skills developed during the week help prepare students for success in school and the work world.”

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