Virtual Enterprise wins state, begins preparations for nationals


Hailey Kraft

Bearden’s Virtual Enterprise class came home from its state competition with an impressive display of awards. They’re hoping for a similar haul at the national competition.

The deadline needed to be met. So much work had been put into the project, it couldn’t all be for naught. But with the snow that flooded the city out of nowhere over night, how could they meet the deadline?

After coming out of state with wins in four categories (business plan, best website, best brochure, best flier), Bearden’s Virtual Enterprise had to submit their paperwork regarding nationals. The inclement weather school cancellation complicated the situation, but as learned by VE, snow or shine, a deadline is a deadline.

“Jack Shires and I came together and personally oversaw the final rendition of the business plan late into the night one night before its shipment the next day,” junior Sebastian Soldner said.

Now with the snowy deadline ordeal behind them, VE continues to expand upon these lessons as their preparations for nationals are in full swing.

Nationals consist of a 12-minute presentation by VE about their company, followed by eight minutes of questions from an esteemed board consisting of business giants such as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the CEO of Mercedes Benz, and marketing executives for Merrill Lynch. These questions can be about virtually anything, so the Virtual Enterprise members must come prepared with an extensive knowledge about the business principles that they are studying.

This trip to nationals will be Bearden’s second in the past three years.

“This time, this company has some really strong, unique ideas that I think will present really well to the judges in New York,” faculty sponsor Mrs. Kathy McCoy said.

In order to prepare for their upcoming trip from March 30 to April 6, the students will give practice presentations to well-known local businessmen, as well as former assistant principal Mrs. Debbie Bean, who attended their last competition.

Some changes they are working to make include updating their PowerPoint presentation to ensure it includes current financial and marketing information. This updating process has proven to enforce life skills such as compromise.

“Every time we go over the PowerPoint and the business plan, which is our main problem right now, we constantly have to ask each other our opinions and come up with the best opinions based on all of our ideas,” junior Marissa Tarantino said. “So that’s our biggest compromise: to make it look good and sound professional all at the same time.”

Aside from bringing home New York souvenirs, Virtual Enterprise will be the first company from the Mid-West region to make it to finals if they emerge from nationals victorious.

“For me personally, I will be so happy for them because they’re a really great group,” Mrs. McCoy said. “They’ve been very willing to be coached, and then taken that and made the ideas their own and really been able to expound on things, which I think is a big part of where they are in their success.”