Taylor A. Johnson
After their success in the East Tennessee Regional Competition, both of Bearden’s Virtual Enterprise classes will travel to New York on April 12 for the national competition.
In order to qualify for nationals, teams from around the state must compete in their own local competition where they present a written and oral plan for the company.
To prepare for nationals, each selected team must rewrite both the oral and written plan to reflect the closing of the year for the company, as each year is designed to represent the fiscal year of a company.
“The regional competition is in the beginning of the year, so it is a presentation of the goals for the company,” business teacher Ms. Kathy McCoy said. “Nationals is more of a reflection of the year stating what they tried, what worked, and what did not work.”
The road to nationals is not easy.
Upon entering the class, students are expected to have prior knowledge in technology that they can build on throughout the semester. Each student is interviewed for that year’s company by Ms. McCoy and two veterans from the program.
The two companies chosen for this semester are first block’s Elysium, focusing on nanotechnology, and fourth block’s Vitality, focusing on health and fitness products.
“The company culture of both classes could not be more different,” Ms. McCoy said. “First block is full of independent thinkers that come together to collaborate later, while fourth block starts out with collaboration.
“Neither class understands how the other functions, but they are both successful.”
Aside from a prestigious title and a trip to New York, students ultimately come out of the class with many newly developed skills.
“This class teaches you public speaking and how to work together, and it also introduces you to professional people,” Bearden junior Griffin Davis said. “You have a lot of confidence coming out of it.”
For students planning on entering the world of business after graduation, a successful Virtual Enterprise program helps put students above their peers in college.
“It’s the closest you can get to the real world in a classroom,” Bearden senior Ben Schwartz said.