Viking’s very own entrepreneurs

Angelica Co, Student Life Editor

Whether it is about starting, operating, or maintaining a business, the Regional Occupational Program, Virtual Enterprise, educates students regarding management skills that will assist them with their future endeavors in business. Taught by Ms. Allison Strain in room T-7, this course covers a spectrum of significant aspects that they will encounter in the corporate world.


“The class has been a great learning experience and has taught me valuable lessons that will be useful in today’s business world,” senior Miriam Escamilla said.


Groups of students were given the task of creating their own businesses to run virtually with the assistance of their adviser and real business partners. The fifth period class chose a 50s diner called “Twist and Shout” and the sixth period class chose a unique salsa store called “My Salsa.” With these computer-generated industries, the future entrepreneurs go through a real life experience as they came up with the menus, newsletters and determine the structure of their craft.


“We basically do everything a real business would, just virtually,” senior Sydney Jauregui said.


Besides working on enhancing their management skills, Virtual Enterprise also works on professionalism through various worksheets and activities that develop the learners’ aptitude for potential interviews. Often times, students are given scenarios in which they have to independently respond to. But one of the most momentous parts of this ROP course would be learning how to finish their responsibilities before a certain due date.


“One of the most crucial things all the students have learned and experienced are deadlines,” Escamilla said. “Deadlines are there for a reason and can only lead to missed opportunities when they aren’t met.”


These potential executives will then test their abilities in three to four trade fair competitions that include about 150 other businesses. The contest covers a wide range of topics as the attendees compete for titles such as Best Booth Design, Best Catalog, and Best Salesmanship. In the midst of these booths are students who sell their items in exchange for virtual money.


“Schools do win trophies and plaques, but the many are striving for an invite to participate in New York’s Trade Fair in spring,” Ms. Strain said. “Competitions take a lot of hours of prep time and can be very nerve racking, but it is always wonderful to watch the teams rally-up and do very well. The way the students bond with one another is very rewarding.”


Hard work, determination, and fun have enveloped room T-7. In their upcoming competition in March—held in Oakland, California—their articulacy and wit will be challenged as they attempt to stand out amongst the different competitors and take the Viking name one step higher in the business world.