Virtual Enterprise Earns National Recognition


Kelsey Ayres

Vivid+ students take group picture at Nasdaq while visiting New York. Not only did they go to Nasdaq, but they also visited Facebook to get experience in the real world. “We learned so much by talking to mentors about moving on into college and how to diversify yourself and make yourself stand out when your getting a job or an internship,” junior Cameron Sato said.

After competing in Virtual Enterprise National Online Competitions, Virtual Enterprise (VE) companies Global Goodies and Vivid+ attained recognition throughout the nation among high school-run companies.

“We won for [the] state of Missouri, which qualified us to go to New York,” Global Goodies Chief Executive Officer and senior Jackson Piles said. “However, my team was not able to go to New York, so Alex Volz and his people from Vivid+ went to compete for us.”

While competing in New York, Vivid+ Creative Director Paris Wilkens secured first place in the Global Business Challenge, which required students representing different countries to work in international teams to identify challenges and opportunities in a global business.

“It was a giant case study over Pokemon Go and what we had to do in an hour and 15 minutes was [to] create a presentation, create supporting slides, memorize our old presentation and give it in front of a crowd, but the catch was I had five international students on my team so it was really difficult to understand some of them sometimes so that was just part of the challenge; working together.”

Though he did not expect to win, Wilkens and his partners gave a better presentation than their opponents according to the judges.

“I think we did well because we understood the case study,” Wilkens said. “I feel that a lot of people just skimmed over it so that they could make the oral presentation, but we really took time and read it and understood it. Whenever they asked us questions about it, we were just able to fire away.”

Not only did Wilkens triumph in New York, but junior Cameron Sato and senior Mitch Wills also placed in the Global Business Challenge. They came in seventh place by collaborating with students from Austria, Brazil, Romania and Bermuda.

“It was just a very rare experience because this is something that high schools dream, to have [an] opportunity to interact with people from around the world,” Sato said.

Despite the recognition they attained, Virtual Enterprise instructor Emmanuel Young believes it is more about the experience that will help students in their futures.

“Students come into our business program with aspirations of one day being an accountant, marketer, CEO, etc., but they don’t have any clue what that job looks like on a day to day basis,” Young said. “[Virtual Enterprise] simulates the daily grind of what it’s like to be a professional in that role. Essentially it allows them to test drive their future careers. VE allows them to reach these conclusions through discovery—namely the daily interactions with the various other roles within a business.”

Even with the success, Young still believes his students can learn just as much as from their past failures.

“Earlier in the year we had a competition in which [the] students performance was downright messy,” Young said. “But for [the VEI Youth Business Summit], students were focused on ironing out those rough spots and did an excellent job in [the] competition.”

Senior Clayton House believes overall, the trip got him and his classmate more immersed in the field of business.

“I think I benefited most from learning what I want to do which is [my] passion for business,” House said. “I learned about where to start, where I should be looking to go in the future, and if I need help, who can help me with that.”