Sunday, June 19, 2011

High school students hone business skills at Junior Executive Institute

Junior executive Emmanuel Hermosillo makes some adjustments on the tech board while his
teammates have a little fun during practice for their final presentation. From left, Kierra Harvey,
Florence Akinribade, Alexis White and Wesley Lumpkin.

They wore black suits, silk ties and a cool confidence. They worked in teams. They created business plans and Prezi presentations. And then they pitched their new companies to representatives from prestigious national corporations.

These high school juniors and seniors, polished beyond their years, were taking part in Kelley's Junior Executive Institute, a one-week business school experience for underrepresented students with good grades and go-for-it attitudes.

Shayna Allen, Iseah Lloyd, Shaan Erickson, Bianca Davis and 
Erica Westley practice their presentation in the hallway at
the Kelley School.
"I've pretty much been interested in business since I started my high school career," said Bianca Davis a rising senior from Indianapolis. She already has an impressive resume and networking experience for a high school student, loading her schedule with business classes and participating in business-minded clubs and organizations since she was a freshman.

During the week, the 31 students from across the country had classes with some of the Kelley School's top professors and learned about the importance of professionalism and teamwork.

In between, they bowled at the student union, toured the IU campus and the football stadium, ate pizza and socialized, getting a taste of what life is like at a major university.

Bryce Gray touts the merits of having spa services 
available at a fitness center as part of his team's 
presentation. Eric Yang and Jonae Mims wait for their
 moments in the spotlight.
Many students said the first-night bowling party -- which featured an ice cream sundae bar -- was their favorite social event.

"We got to know each other," said Wesley Lumpkin, a rising junior from Dayton, Ohio. "It was cool because everybody became real close."

Kierra Harvey, a rising junior from Nashville, Tenn., found out about Kelley's Junior Executive Institute from her high school counselor. Her main focus is marketing, but she found a new interest in business law.

Indianapolis senior Florence Akinribade, who was born in Nigeria, thought the etiquette class was a good addition because a big part of business revolves around social interaction and professionalism.

Family members and judges were impressed with the young executives' presentation skills.
The week culminated with the presentations. Family members and judges listened to pitches about products ranging in size from the smallest of microchips to help locate lost valuables, to a luxury hotel called The Almanac in which each floor of rooms represents a month of the calendar.

Each student team came up with its own idea, researched the feasibility of it, devised a marketing plan based on the audience, and laid out costs and a timeline showing how long it might take to realize a return on investment.

The presentations were followed by an awards luncheon featuring keynote speaker Tony Robinson, partner/principal with Ernst & Young.

A second group of young executives will polish their skills at Kelley this week.

The program, which has been going for about 10 years, is coordinated by Jen Olson through the Kelley Office of Diversity Initiatives. It is sponsored by Ernst & Young, Ford and John Deere.

Tony Robinson of
Ernst & Young
scores his judge's

1 comment:

  1. I am so impressed with how professional you young execs are. Hope to see you in the halls at Kelley in a year or two!