Huntington High School’s Virtual Enterprise classes are off to a spectacular start. Students are utilizing a lower level classroom equipped with everything students need to create a business plan for a start-up company.
The full-year, one credit business course is available to juniors and seniors. “Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is set-up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment,” according to the high school’s course bulletin.
Virtual Enterprise course participants learn about all the factors that impact business operations in a free enterprise system. “Students study supply and demand, the Federal Reserve System, taxation by local, state and federal governments, business organizations, the stock market and international transactions,” states the course bulletin. “The students determine the nature of their business, its products and services, its management and structure and learn the daily operations of a business under the guidance of a consultant with the support of a real business partner. They use current business software packages and the internet for business transactions using economics as a factor.”
Huntington teachers Paige Furman and Suzie Biagi lead the course. “Our three new Virtual Enterprise firms are now finalized with executive positions and firm names,” Mrs. Furman said.
CEO candidates were interviewed by Principal Brenden Cusack and Superintendent James W. Polansky along with Mrs. Furman and Ms. Biagi. After being selected, each CEO then conducted interviews with their classmates to fill all other executive positions.
The Virtual Enterprise course was first offered last year with the strong backing of Mr. Polansky and Mr. Cusack. A sleek room was created and filled with all the tools students need to be successful in the class.
This year’s Virtual Enterprise students are already displaying signs of being an exceptional group.
Ms. Biagi’s class has created the company Snooz³. Executives include Taylor Case (chief executive officer), Nicholas Tudisco (chief operating officer), Trevan Meagher (executive vice president), Justin Lokos (chief technology officer), Kyle Colleluori (chief financial officer), Ainsley Lumpe (vice president for human resources), Steve Queen (vice president for sales) and Aidan Bender (vice president for marketing).
“Obtaining the position of CEO has been so rewarding this far,” Ms. Case said. “I know there is so much involved in the position, but I am beyond excited to be so immersed in our company Snooz³. I have always known that business would be what I plan to study in college and this class is a great opportunity to develop hands on experience in running a real life firm. Between great guidance from Mrs. Biagi and a very motivated class, I think Snooz³ has the potential to be a significant competitor against other virtual companies.”
Ms. Furman is teaching two classes of Virtual Enterprise this year. The first class has formed a company called BioSol. Its executive team features Charles O’Rourke (chief executive officer), Matthew Gennarelli (chief operating officer), Alex Gonzalez (chief financial officer), John Holly (vice president of sales), Marissa Stafford (vice president of marketing), Andreas Seferian (vice president of design and IT), Sarah Giarraputo (vice president of human resources) and Isaiah James (office manager).
“I’ve always felt that I was meant for the role as a chief executive officer of a firm since my initials are C.E.O.” Mr. O’Rourke laughed. “But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to lead my VE firm as we get our feet wet in corporate America. I am truly ecstatic about the group of kids in my class, as every student has demonstrated sincere dedication to foster success in the class and I can’t wait to see the greatness we will achieve. I would also like to applaud Mr. Polansky’s and Mr. Cusack’s support for this wonderful class. It will truly open up so many doors for so many students.”
Mrs. Furman’s second VE class has created a company called Titan. It is led by Abigail Holmes (chief executive officer), Chris Mavrogian (chief operating officer), Raul Orozco (vice president of administration), Nate Deegan (vice president of marketing), Jack Monahan (chief financial officer), Samir Rathore (vice president of design and IT) and Bianca Lella (vice president of human resources).
“I feel honored to be CEO of Titan and am extremely grateful for our hardworking team, whose skill set ranges from fabricating beautiful designs, conducting creative advertising, handling financials and much more,” Ms. Holmes said. “Titan is creating a multifunctional backpack with features such as ergonomic support, a waterproof design, lighting lined inside the bags for night-time use, portable chargers and a safety whistle. We are currently working on partnering with sneaker companies in an effort to repurpose used sneakers as material for making our bags. I am looking forward to seeing our product develop- keep an eye out for Titan this year.”
The course culminates with events that include competitive trade shows and business summits, where students vie against other firms created by high school students from across the world. “This is a challenging, collaborative, hands-on, real-world course for future entrepreneurs and those interested in the business world,” according to the course bulletin.
The three Huntington High School Virtual Enterprise companies will be participating in the East End networking luncheon on December 19 at East Wind Caterers in Wading River. Participants will deliver company sales pitches, network with other firms and converse with mentors and business partners.
The Huntington teenagers will also be participating in the Long Island Regional Virtual Enterprise Conference & Exhibition at LIU Post on January 19. The event will bring together more than 2,000 students, teachers and business leaders. About 90 companies are expected to be on hand representing the virtual economy. Firms will compete for their booth designs, salesmanship impact marketing and more.