A Taste of College-Level Business Education for High School Students

By Jeanne Leong

A select group of high school students has learned business principles and skills through Rutgers University–Camden’s annual BizEd program which will be useful throughout their educational pursuits and in their professional careers.

During the six-day BizEd Leadership Camp at the Rutgers School of Business–Camden, 15 rising high school juniors and seniors received an introduction to college life by learning from Rutgers faculty, hearing from business leaders, visiting a local business, and participating in a business plan presentation.

The class prepares for its final presentation

The class preparing for Biz Ed Shark Tank presentations

“It is so interesting to watch the students grow and be inspired,” says Kimberly Richmond, a part-time lecturer in marketing, who has taught the course for seven years. “They have learned about elements of business that they didn’t even know existed.”

Held from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. every day, the classes covered topics including marketing, accounting, finance, and business law, with a chance to participate in problem-solving activities and team building.

“I really wanted to come to BizEd because I hadn’t had that business experience and I wanted to make sure that I got it in before I committed to going to college for it,” says Rachel Bathurst, a rising senior at West Deptford High School.

“This was very different from high school,” says Chris Kim, a rising senior at Steinert High School in Hamilton, N.J. “Here, we get to engage with the professors and all of our ideas are just bouncing off each other.”

The class divided into four groups. Each created a business and marketing plan for a product or service. For the “BizEd Shark Tank,” an event modeled loosely after the reality television show Shark Tank, the students made their presentations to a panel of judges comprised of Rutgers School of Business?Camden faculty and staff.

Bathurst’s group, “SHARC,” an acronym for Success, Hard work, Adaptability, Reliability and Creative, created a business and marketing plan for Keep Trac, an app with a tracking system that caregivers can use to locate their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.

“It is a physical tracking device like a FitBit that is paired with an app—kind of like Google Maps, so that you can be able to keep track of where your loved one is,” says Bathurst. “Like, it’s fine that he is there, or she is at the store, or we need to get them back from the highway.”

BizEd Shark Tank winners: Colin Foley, Dylan Ritch, Marisa Giraud, Rachel Bathurst

BizEd Shark Tank winners: Colin Foley, Dylan Ritch, Marisa Giraud, Rachel Bathurst

For their winning business plan, Bathurst and her teammates, Colin Foley, of Medford Lakes, N.J., a rising senior at Shawnee High School; Dylan Ritch, of Sicklerville, N.J., a rising junior at Camden County Technical School; and Marisa Giraud, of Vineland, N.J., a rising senior at Vineland High School; each received a Beats Pill Speaker.

The other groups’ business plans included an app that provides one-on-one counseling to teens in distress, a cooking device with a companion app that indicates when an item is cooked, and an app that allows students to take a photo of notes that are then automatically converted to type.


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