This summer, of 2010, I was one of the lucky fourteen selected few on the entire west coast to have a chance in a lifetime opportunity to attend a prestigious program called Youth About Business, in New York City, New York. The camp started on July 5 – July 9, 2010. The program was created by a business man and Executive Director, Samuel E. Kirk. I was selected personally by my Morse High School Vice Principle, Mrs. Menna. It was an all expense paid trip to get the chance to learn and have the one-on-one experience on how a business operates and the terms such as EBITDA, enterprise value, merge, and acquisition. We stayed in the dorms of one of the top business schools in the country, Columbia University. At the program I was enlightened with the true meaning of a corporation. One must have patience, leadership skills, communication skills, and all that and more to succeed. One of the things that worked for me was the sessions we had everyday and the opportunity to be taught by real-life CEOs, Bankers, Business Attorneys, and Marketers. It was a very hands on experience that impacted me on a very positive way. At the camp, we were all divided into teams and give C-level roles such as CEO, CMO, CHRO, ect. There were about twelve teams in all and each team had a chance to run a real company and study it. In my group, I was assigned the role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), which is the person in charge of the workers, labor unions, workers rights and benefits. My group was assigned Newell Rubbermaid, a company who sells to retailers Home & Family supplies, Office supplies, and Tools & Hardware. They gave us four days to retain as much information as possible of our company and two days to learn about our competing company, for us it was Procter and Gamble, who sells similar products. On the fourth day of the camp, Thursday night, we had a dinner with a successful CEO who came to eat with us and tell us about the stock market crash and what the future, in his eyes, hold.
Afterwards, the teams had to have a meeting for negotiating on how both companies were going to merge or acquire. In our case, Newell Rubbermaid was being acquired because P&G is by far a bigger, better company than N. Rubbermaid. After a long and intense negotiation, at 2:37 am, P&G bought Newell Rubbermaid for 12 billion dollars. Beforehand, I didn’t see myself pursuing a career in the world of business but now things are different and I have a different perspective of what it means to be a business women. I have walked away from this camp as a more insightful and more knowledgeable person on what it means to run a business. I am happy to say that I have been invited back to YAB for Advance Camp next year. I would recommend this camp to every high school student because it’s a great opportunity to open your minds to a possible future career choice. Plus, if you win the beginners camp, you go to the championships for a chance to compete for scholarship money, stocks, and a chance to ring the Wall St. bell. My word of advice it to go in with an open mind and be willing to learn new things because you never know what your future career may be. For more details about YAB program please visit: www.youthaboutbusiness.org
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