The Huntington High School Virtual Enterprise company ABODE recently vied in a field of 41 schools spread across 14 states and four countries in the VE national human resources competition at the Microsoft Technology Center at Times Square in Manhattan.
The full-year, one credit business class is available to juniors and seniors. “Virtual Enterprise is a simulated business that is set-up and run by students to prepare them for working in a real business environment,” according to the high school’s course bulletin.
At the national competition in New York City, participating one or two member human resource department teams were required to “deliver oral presentations to inform judges of their department policies and practices as they relate to the strategies, operations and deliverables for their respective departments,” according to an overview of the contest.
ABODE’s Vice President for Human Resources Luke Farrell and communications specialist Holly Wright made an oral presentation to a panel of three judges, who listened attentively and took notes. The judges then fired thought-provoking questions at the pair regarding ABODE’s employee manual, including the areas covering the firm’s code of conduct, employee benefits, personnel accountability evaluations and celebratory announcements.
“This was an absolutely great experience,” Ms. Wright said. “Many people that know me know I had a fear of public speaking, but this real world experience has completely changed that. I am so proud of ABODE as a whole as well as Luke. I’m so thankful for Mrs. Biagi and I’m so happy with this class.”
The competition was one of many at Virtual Enterprise International’s Youth Business Summit in Manhattan. This marks the first year that Huntington High School has offered a full Virtual Enterprise course program. Two classes formed two companies and both participated in a full range of activities.
“Course programing such as Virtual Enterprises allows for anyone looking for a real world experience the opportunity to put their skills to good work and allow for new pathways to flourish in every aspect,” Mr. Farrell said. “I encourage all who have an interest in business to take this wonderful course.”
Mr. Farrell and Ms. Wright were impressive at the national competition. “Holly and Luke were phenomenal today,” teacher Suzi Biagi said. “They didn’t miss a beat. They were professional, well versed in their craft and endearing. They radiated enthusiasm and absolutely knew their stuff. I am so proud of them.”
“We are a company that manufactures clothing that is designed and catered to local destinations throughout the world,” states ABODE’s company website. “Whether you are a student starting the next chapter of your life, a family starting a new adventure or just somebody that loves where they live, our company gives you the opportunity to take a little piece of home with you wherever you go.”
The company’s mission “is to create a brand that reminds people of home and all of its importance.” The firm is committed to giving back “to the place that have provided us with so much,” so it plans to donate a portion of its profits to local organizations.