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OBHS Virtual Enterprise Firm Hits New Milestones

Oyster Bay High School’s Virtual Enterprise (VE) program—a business course that enables students to develop business skills in a simulated environment—has advanced to new levels of competition. The student-created virtual firm, Pro-Tech(t), which  offers a series of protective cases for electronic devices to minimize radiation exposure among adults, has advanced to the finals of the National QuickBooks competition, one of the business contests that will be livestreamed during the Virtual Enterprise Youth Business Summit, April 20-22. The Youth Business Summit enables enterprising students from across the globe to engage in a week of business competitions, leadership activities, a global innovation challenge and an international trade show. 

ve headshots Senior Manuel (Manolo) Panariello, head of accounting for Pro-Tech(t), was a key contributor for the firm’s advancement. He spent most of the year learning the QuickBooks software and was responsible for documenting the firm’s financial progress as well as creating supporting documents, including a balance sheet, bank reconciliations, and a profit and loss statement. For round two of the competition, Manolo had to create a slide presentation and a video presentation, which was done by his business partners, seniors Jillian Vicari and Christopher Duras, using Manolo’s information. On March 15, they were notified that they were moving to the national finals.

 Jillian Vicari, Christopher Duras and Manuel (Manolo) Panariello

“This is very exciting, “ said Virtual Enterprise teacher Ms. Tara Beal. “I am so very proud of this group of students.”

In January, teams of students worked diligently and collaboratively to participate in a variety of National Competitions held through the Virtual Enterprise International Organization, which currently oversees a digital, international economy of more than 7,000 student-run businesses in over 40 countries. This was the first year that VE introduced departmental specific competitions which included Marketing, Human Resources, and Accounting with QuickBooks.
For each of these individual competitions, selected team members from the VE class, following a specific rubric, created written documents that were submitted digitally for judging.

The Marketing Team consisted of  seniors Aidan Russo and Alina Kelly, and  junior Vincent Arnedos, who created a 10-page document including information about Pro-Tech(t)’s, marketing strategies. The Human Resource competition was completed by senior Rebecca Keller. She was challenged with creating an employee manual for the firm.

In addition to the above departmental competitions, Pro-Tech(t) reached another milestone when they competed in the National Business Plan competition and advanced to the second round for the first time.

“With the current state of the global pandemic, this looked a little different than it has in past years which called for a written submission of a 20-page business plan and a live presentation to a panel of judges,” explained Ms. Beal. “This year, firms were asked to create a 4-page ‘Super’ Executive Summary to be submitted for judging as part of round 1. The second part required them to create a slide presentation and orally present to a panel of judges using Zoom.”

Seniors Faith Cammarata, Aidan Russo, Jillian Vicari, and Juniors Vincent Arnedos and Samantha Cohen worked collaboratively for almost two months on this competition. They completed the first round in late January, with positive feedback from the judges, and received the news of advancement just two days after the firm received the news of advancement for the other competitions, according to Ms. Beal.  “The second round mirrored the first round with some small changes based off the judges’ comments and recommendations from round 1. The team did a fantastic job, and although they did not advance to the finals, I am so proud of  the progress they have made.”

“No matter the outcome of these competitions, the students have already won with the knowledge and insight that they have received,” Ms. Beal said. “Every year, the Virtual Enterprise course improves, and more and more students are reaping the benefits of this amazing class.”

Oyster Bay High School offers two full-year courses in Virtual Enterprise for students in grades 10-12 through its Business Department. Students in both classes participate in competitions throughout the year and are eligible to receive college credit for a fee through one of Oyster Bay High School’s college partnerships.

ve students at competition

From left, Oyster Bay High School Virtual Enterprise students Aidan Russo, Faith Cammarata, Jillian Vicari, Samantha Cohen, and Vincent Arnedos helped Pro-Tech(t) advance to the second round of the National Business Plan competition for the first time.