During a two-day event, about 50 advanced placement economics and business students from all three Central Bucks School District (CBSD) high schools (CB East, CB South, and CB West) gather in a conference room with more than a dozen mentors. They manage a simulated for-profit student company, engaging in varied exercises and friendly competition.
The activity is moderated by CB West graduate, Bob Byers of Byers’ Choice. Byers was approached by a former social studies teacher with the idea, and he jumped at the chance to give back to his school and positively contribute to the business education of Central Bucks students. In referring to the panel of mentors, “Every one of the people you see up here today is here because someone helped them and guided them.”
“Participants not only learn to appreciate our free enterprise system, but they also see from a practitioner’s perspective what it takes to be successful in an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” Scott Berger, K‑12 Social Studies and Library Supervisor explains.
Students practice the actual operation of their own business for the equivalent of three years (12 quarters) and compete to see which is most profitable.
Facing all of the decisions that real executives are confronted with, the students work alongside the various local business “mentors,” who represent such varied fields as marketing, law, banking, manufacturing, and more — all volunteering to act as company advisors for the exercise. Sharing their knowledge and expertise, they help the students address the most significant issues facing business today — budgets, advertising, stocks, production decisions, quality management, and more.
“Students have really enjoyed the experience in the past and many make great contacts for future internships, and even jobs,” Berger added.
“It was good to hear where they went to college, what they did in high school, what internships they did, that’s kind of neat to see,” a student noted, “It kind of helps you gauge what you can do, you don’t have to go straight to college, you can work for two years or travel and then go, there’s different ways to get where you want to be.”
More CBSD news at www.cbsd.org/news.