South Pasadena High School Virtual Enterprise’s iKOMO varsity team poses in front of their booth during the state competition in Bakersfield, January 16-17. Photo courtesy of iKOMO

Payroll, human resources, expenses: it can be a daunting prospect for students to move from high school to college and into business. At South Pasadena High School, however, students get a head start on the process by experiencing the workplace in the classroom.

For the past 22 years, So Pas High has worked with Virtual Enterprise International, an educational nonprofit, to organize real life simulations of the business environment. It’s not just a video game, either. So Pas students develop business plans, participate in virtual commerce, and compete with other schools in three virtual business teams: intro, junior varsity, and varsity.

At the California state conference in Bakersfield on Jan. 16-17, the university’s business plan team placed sixth in the state. The next step for the team is a national competition, to be held in New York in April.

Junior Chloe Lovejoy joined the varsity team after hearing from some of her classmates how much they enjoyed the program. Before participating, she admitted that she didn’t know much about business or what it takes to be part of a corporate structure. Today, she is the editor-in-chief of the newsletter for human resources, one of seven departments on her team led by student leaders. The other departments include finance, sales, technology, game design, and marketing.
“We just benefit the whole culture of the company, which has been really cool for me to learn as well,” Lovejoy said.

The Lovejoy team is organized around a unique virtual trading company named iKOMO, which “sells” collectible digital pets on a website platform using virtual dollars. Focused on this goal, the team develops business plans and works together to carry out day-to-day operations such as paying rent, utilities, payroll, taxes and purchasing anything necessary for development. commercial with other virtual companies of the Virtual Enterprise International network. Senior Danielle Choy is CEO and Cathy Mason is teacher supervisor.

The business of the junior college team is PIX, which sells Polaroid cameras, and the business of the introductory team is Lunch Box, which focuses on selling vending machines with healthy lunches.

“It’s a lot of collaboration,” Lovejoy explained. “You learn very good oral and public speaking skills. “

By working with other students and learning the nuances of how all parts of a business come together to make a business successful, Lovejoy believes the Virtual Business Enterprise experience has given her more confidence and clarity to come together. launch into a successful career.
“The biggest thing I got out of it was to be better prepared for my future career, whatever it is,” Lovejoy shared. “Even though it’s not necessarily in HR or in a corporate structure, I feel better prepared for my professional future.


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