Local students attend Minnesota Business Venture

 

Andrew Kezar and Sofia Rappa experienced mock interviews, speaking in public, working in a diverse team and communicating with adults and peers at Minnesota Business Venture. The Forest Lake High School students were sponsored by the Forest Lake Walmart. (Photo submitted)

Andrew Kezar and Sofia Rappa experienced mock interviews, speaking in public, working in a diverse team and communicating with adults and peers at Minnesota Business Venture. The Forest Lake High School students were sponsored by the Forest Lake Walmart. (Photo submitted)

 

Forest Lake High School students Sofia Rappa and Andrew Kezar spent a week of their summer preparing for life after high school through the Minnesota Business Venture.

With mentors from Allianz Life, Cargill, Ecolab, Securian, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Travelers, U.S. Bank and Xcel Energy, they learned how to start their own business and improve their financial literacy skills. They heard speakers from Allstate, General Mills, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Padilla Speer Beardsley.

Nearly 350 students representing 95 schools took part in the program.

The business professionals lived on campus for the week and guided each group, or “company,” of students through the creation of a business plan and proposal. One business plan, for example, outlined a make-your-own-cupcake store in the Mall of America. The proposal for “CupMake” summarized marketing, finances, and operations practices.

“I loved it!  I had so much fun and learned a lot,” Rappa said. “What I learned this week, I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

Each student received a sponsorship of at least $1,000 to cover room and board, food and activities. Rappa and Kezar were sponsored by the Walmart in Forest Lake.

Minnesota Business Venture is held in partnership with the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University and the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at St. John’s University.

Topics at the business and career skills camp included personal finance, entrepreneurship, business ethics and how to present one’s best self.

More than 150 Minnesota entrepreneurs and business professionals volunteered to share their experiences and business insights, and 144 sponsors donated funds.

Minnesota Business Venture is run by BestPrep, the education-based nonprofit organization that also offers Classroom Plus, eMentors, Financial Matters, The Stock Market Game and the Technology Integration Workshop. For more information visit www.bestprep.org.

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