The University of Tennessee’s Business Education for Talented Students [BETS] program aims to provide guidance to high school juniors from diverse backgrounds and communities. Many of the participants will be the first in their families to attend college. They all have a desire to pursue higher education in business, including majors in accounting, marketing, economics, management, logistics, and so on.
The weeklong BETS program is hosted in the University of Tennessee’s Haslam Business Building. Students explore a variety of business tracks and careers through classes and team assignments. There is a comprehensive team project completed at the end of the week. The team project is a competition involving the Marketplace Live simulation. Students compete in groups to effectively build and execute a successful business venture.
The Knoxville News Sentinel quoted BETS student Myles Levy, 17, as saying the program “teaches you how to be a leader, and if you already are a leader, it teaches you how to be a servant leader.” Levy went on to say the Marketplace competition in general made him “think about the challenges in business,” including balancing budgets, monitoring employee morale, and marketing a consumer-worthy product.
In addition to class and projects, students are immersed in the operations of a local business and shadow its professionals. UT business instructors, as well as community and business leaders, lead the courses. The school makes presentations on various professional services offered to students by the University. Perhaps, most importantly, the program is offered at no cost to the participants and is subsidized by the PepsiCo Foundation.
The BETS program began in 2008. Since its implementation, 89 high school juniors have enrolled in the program, and 50 of those attending members are now students at the University of Tennessee.
Participants interested in learning more about the BETS program can contact Tyvi Small at [email protected] or +1-865-974-5185. Small is the Coordinator of Diversity Initiatives of the College of Business Administration.