Virtual Enterprise International program comes to RHS

Eileen Brennan, Staff Writer

The Virtual Enterprise International logo. Photo courtesy of the official Virtual Enterprise International website.

Last year, RHS sent a few select business students on a trip to Lakeland High School. There, these students listened to representatives speak about the changes and developments of the modern business world. One more recent technological advancement in business education is a program called Virtual Enterprise International, or VEI, which is being used to teach youth the ins and outs of business functions.

“[These] students will be marketing the class from now until scheduling in Jan. and Feb,” said business teacher Mrs. Malsbury. “We will have a table in the cafeteria set up so questions can be answered. We are also going to talk to counselors to inform them of this new exciting class.”

But why is this important to students at RHS for the future? In the 2018-2019 school year, RHS will be providing a VEI class in order to better aid the development of business in the working world. Thanks to business teacher Mrs. Malsbury and her students, VEI will be coming to RHS to give students the same opportunities described on the Lakeland High School informational trip.

RHS students at Lakeland High School learning about the functions of Virtual Enterprise International. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Malsbuy.

Despite the great opportunities offered by this program, many students don’t know what it all means. Virtual Enterprise International is an in-school business simulation that offers students a competitive edge through project-based and collaborative learning. Students create and manage fictitious businesses using virtual finances and customers to accurately simulate several different occupations in business to a classroom assignment. This helps development of skills in entrepreneurship, global business, problem solving, communication, personal finance and technology. Students gain knowledge and experience in problem-solving, decision-making, communication, collaboration, technology, and accessing, using and analyzing information.

“[Virtual Enterprise International] transforms high school students into independent-thinking business professionals and their classrooms into offices,” said Malsbury, who is raising awareness for the program at RHS. “Virtual Enterprise International reinforces students’ academic skills and achievement, reignites their interest in education, and raises their desire to graduate and pursue lifelong learning.”

Last year, Mrs. Malsbury and some of her students took a trip to Lakeland High School in White Lake to learn more about how VEI works in addition to gaining knowledge about businesses and the way they work. Learning about the inner workings of large corporations, the students came together to explore how businesses operate and how to apply these functions to their own learning with Virtual Enterprise.

RHS students at Lakeland High School learning about the functions of Virtual Enterprise International. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Malsbuy.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see a classroom full of teenagers that were able to run a business with little help from the teacher in the room,” Mrs. Malsbury said. “The teacher’s role was to facilitate. It was so refreshing to see problem solving skills, collaboration and real world application happening at the same time.”

Students who participate in VEI learn skills such as interpersonal communication and public speaking, all while educating themselves for the business-run world. Therefore, while participants receive workplace knowledge, a lot of the skills taught to students are also applicable to everyday life in the working world. Students who participate in VEI have a head start compared to other high schoolers because applying to any post high school institution with previous VEI experience in running a business shows initiative, long-living passion and a desire to get the best instruction about the inner workings of modern business.

“It will prepare them for the real work world because we don’t have many classes for business,” said junior Olivia Tabuet, who attended the Lakeland High School trip last year. “It’s a great head start to getting anywhere after high school. I think if you have the initiative to take control of what you want to do in your life, then this class is the class that can prepare you for your future in business and help you see if it’s for you.”

Like other classes that offer specialized skills, VEI helps students prepare for a future in business. Whether it be in marketing or management, being provided in-depth information specific to business dramatically increases a students’ knowledge and understanding of the inner workings. This is done not through lecturing and notetaking, but though hands-on activities and first hand experience gained through the companies created in class.

“The student benefit for this program is unparalleled by any other class in my opinion,” said  junior Ryan Hart, who accompanied Mrs. Malsbury on the informative trip to Lakeland High School. “Kids will get live-work experience which will prepare them for when they enter the workforce for real. Students also will enjoy the time they spend in Virtual Enterprise since it is not like a regular class. There are no notes and no formal teaching as it’s all hands-on.”

Students who seek any kind of career in business might be asking themselves: How can I get involved? While VEI isn’t a currently running program, in the 2018-2019 school year, the program will be provided to students. If RHS students want to get ahead in their business careers and take initiative for their future, the Virtual Enterprise International is one way to grow not only as a business student, but as a person possessing strong interpersonal communication skills and a great knowledge about the functions of the real world. 

“Look for the Virtual logo,” Mrs. Malsbury said. “It will soon be very popular and totally recognizable.”