Innovative Learning Solutions is proud to have been a part of the Business Education for Talented Students Program at the University of Tennessee for the past six years.
This one-week program introduces high school students from an assortment of backgrounds to various forms of business, including Accounting, Marketing, Economics, Human Resource Management and more.
During the program, students learn how to work together in a business environment by completing team-building activities and visiting different companies in the Knoxville community.
The program concludes with the students participating in the Marketplace® simulation competition. The exercise gives the participants a chance to run their own business and learn how important it is to work together to succeed.
The director of the program, Tyvi Small, explains how students enjoy the Marketplace® portion of the program. “They love the competition, but more importantly it gives them an opportunity to develop a business from scratch. They get to use their critical thinking skills and their creativity. It is very challenging in the beginning but very rewarding in the end,” Small explains.
Small says that using the simulation is one of his favorite parts in the BETS program because he can see that the students are beginning to understand business practices more fully. “During the presentations, I can see they understand the business terminology and can articulate their business strategies. It’s a wonderful transformation,” he says.
The use of the Marketplace® simulation in the program helps students see the practical side of business. It can even take them out of their comfort zones. “They have to learn the art of compromise and, for those who are less vocal, they have to learn to speak up when they have an idea that can help their team,” Small says. He says it teaches them about listening and teamwork.
The BETS Program began in 2008 as an avenue to encourage underrepresented students to think about majoring in business. A total of 117 students have completed the program to date. It is open to any Native American, African American, Asian American or Hispanic student, first generation college student, or students on free or reduced lunch entering their senior year of high school with a GPA of at least 3.0
Program dates for the 2014 BETS program are set to be announced this December. Be sure to visit the Office of Diversity and Communications website here to view the program dates and to learn more about this exciting opportunity.