Virtual Enterprise Cultivates Collaboration and Business Skills

The Virtual Enterprise program, introduced at the NIKE Work Based Learning Center in 2016-17, has expanded to the high school this school year as a way to broaden business knowledge and experience among students as they prepare for college and careers. 

The programs from both buildings presented their work at the Long Island Regional Conference and Exhibition trade show, held at Farmingdale State College on Jan. 9 and 10. The NIKE students won a silver certificate of achievement in the sales material category and the Long Beach High School group did an outstanding job at its first competitive event.

The students involved have taken on the challenge of developing and operating virtual businesses right in their classrooms, complete with departments such as marketing, human resources, sales, communications, arts and digital media. Each business has a CEO, CFO and COO.

The Long Beach High School participants are running a business called Beach Golf, which brings the equipment and certain concepts used in traditional golf to the beach with nets as goals. Those at NIKE are working from their O2H concept initiated last year. They have modified the product to an all-natural, freeze-dried water enhancer and anticipate a profit of approximately $400,000 this year.

The recent trade show featured an assortment of competitions such as commercial, business plan, website design, sales material, staff manual, branding package, employee handbook and company newsletter. The Long Beach teams competed against schools throughout Long Island and sold their products to 52 other firms from approximately 70 schools.

“It’s a great experience,” said Long Beach High School senior and Beach Golf CEO Gordon Gerstener. “My college major is related to business and I’m going in already knowing something about it.”