Saturday, June 28, 2008

Youth Business Adventure 2008

I just spent the past week at DSU in Madison, SD as a Company Advisor for Youth Business Adventure (YBA). This is my third year as an advisor and it was a great time, as usual.

The program is basically a way to open up the world of business to high school students going into their Senior year. The whole week is set up as a competition between companies. This year I was assigned to Company G and twelve students - 8 girls and 4 boys. The YBA staff groups these students VERY carefully and is always sure not to have students from the same school in any one group, so they are often all strangers at the beginning of the week. It is great to watch them connect and develop lasting friendships as the week progresses.

Each company comes up with a company name and develops an idea for a product. Company G ended up being "Global Golf" and the product they came up with was the 'Galileo', a golf ball that you never loose because it has a built in GPS locator and is also bouyant. Neat idea, huh?

There are 10 major competitions throughout the week:

1) Junk Production - They have to create a product out of, you guessed it, junk and present it infomercial style.

2) Bowling Competition - It's a team thing. Each person in the team bowls a frame and the game just keeps going for over an hour. The team with the most points wins.

3) Business Bowl - A quiz bowl using business terms.

4) Company Cheer - This is when you hope you have an experienced cheerleader on your team! :-)

5) TV Comercial - The team creates and films a commercial advertising their product.

6) Company Logo - The team designs a logo for their company.

7) Emerging Entrepreneur Project - The team prepares a formal 15-minute presentation to give to a group of 'investors' (judges).

8) Management Simulation Game - This is a computerized money game where each company makes financial decisions for their company (price, production levels, marketing expenditures and much more) over 8 quarters (two years) to see how their company will fair in the industry of the 8 other companies.

9) Community Service - Throughout the week, the companies complete various service responsibilities to earn points.

10) Public Relations/Networking - Team members can earn points by interviewing company advisors, teacher assistants, speakers and other staff associated with YBA over the course of the week.
If you think that sounds like an insane amount of stuff to complete with a group of kids in 5 1/2 days, you're absolutely right. The time just flies by because it is such a super busy week.

Even though their is a lot of 'work' built into this week, there is certainly time for some fun as well with pizza parties, movies and a dance. The kids generally have no problem letting out their goofy sides either!

Although it is a ton of fun, it was a long time away from my little girl and I have to admit I'm happy to be home again. Today I've been doing a whole lot of nothing...need some time to just regroup after such a week.

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