Students prepare for life after high school
An innovative business plan to develop a voice activated pillow that connects to the user’s smart phone was praised by a panel of industry investors and was crafted in just one week by a group of high school students. While these plans were imaginary, the ideas presented would give today’s entrepreneurs a run for their money. Affiance Financial, ING Foundation, Katie Kloster and American Family Insurance sponsored Champlin Park High School students Barry Shlomov, Kristine Vang, Nancy Cuzco, Sonia Sibrian and Maricela Melgar Flores to attend BestPrep’s 34th annual Minnesota Business Venture (MBV).
MBV is a week-long business and career skills camp held in July 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 300 students representing 107 schools spent a week of their summer preparing for life after high school, learning how to start their own business, and improving their financial literacy skills.
More than 170 Minnesota entrepreneurs and business professionals shared their experiences and business insights with the future workforce. Students heard from a variety of speakers representing companies such as 3M, Allstate, General Mills, Cargill and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The speakers covered a wide range of topics such as managing personal finance, entrepreneurship, business ethics, and developing one’s personal brand.
Local business professionals, known as Resident Business Leaders, served as mentors to the students throughout the program. These volunteers, from companies such as Securian, Thrivent Financial and Xcel Energy, lived on campus for the week and guided a group, or “company”, of students through the creation of a business plan and proposal.
BestPrep’s Minnesota Business Venture has more than 11,000 program alumni.
“MBV is a unique opportunity for high school students to gain skills that will help them now and in their future,” said MBV Program Manager Janae Olinger. “Going through a mock interview, learning about finances, working in diverse teams, communicating with adults and peers, and speaking in public area all skills that help prepare students for success in school and future jobs.”
In addition to MBV, BestPrep offers the Technology Integration Workshop for teachers and four innovative programs – Classroom Plus, eMentors, Financial Matters, and The Stock Market GameTM – which help prepare students to be college ready and career bound.