After my success with volunteering and helping out at GearUp Career Day, I was asked to volunteer as a judge for Business Week. I remember vaguely hearing about the program when I was in high school but I didn’t attend; now, it’s a requirement for all high school juniors in South Bend, Raymond, and Valley.
They mix up the students from the different schools and put them into groups. Each group undergoes a computer simulation of a business/company and they track the progress, changes and trends over 8 quarters. At the end of the week, they report their findings to a panel of judges, which are looking for a thorough understanding of the material, professionalism, and team participation.
The judges are also involved as “investors” in the tradeshow. Each team creates a product to market and sell. I really enjoyed this part; I was given fake money and roamed around the room while the students hit me with their best pitches. Some of my favorite products included a pillow that records your dreams, solar paneled windows that provide electricity for your house, and a tankless underwater breathing mask. I’d definitely be a judge again!