By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
OHS Students Prepare For Business World
virtual enterprise K
OHS Virtual Enterprise students have dedicated the past year to expanding their knowledge in the way of business, enterprise and marketing. Photographed, from left: Omar Vazquez, Heidi Schulze, Kayleigh Gilbert, Ruby Houchen and David Myrtakis. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Oakdale High School students are learning how to do business.

In a day and age of everything instant, students of Kellie Felix’s Virtual Enterprise Class are learning not just the ‘tricks’ of the trade, but the tools that it takes and how to use them to your advantage.

According to Felix, the Virtual Enterprise Course is a two semester class categorized by the Career and Technical Education Industry Pathway of: Marketing, Sales & Service and Business and Finance.

“The course explores leadership styles and economics, personal finance and soft skills while providing a background in business,” Felix shared. “Any student with a genuine interest in business leadership and American business enterprise is encouraged to take the class.”

Throughout the course of the year the students work on a curriculum which encompasses a business set up and run by each team of students. The interactive business offers them opportunity to deal with real life situations be it business or personal as they learn to manage with varying personality types and business challenges.

“We’ve learned how to work as a team better,” OHS Senior Kayleigh Gilbert said of the class. “I like to take control, I’m pretty busy. This class brought out my business side.”

“Not one person is allowed to do everything,” classmate Heidi Schulze shared. “But you need someone like that when everyone is off task.”

In addition to the interactive businesses the teams build and maintain, they also work on “Career Workshops.” Events are organized by class members, inviting community professionals to visit the OHS campus to speak with the student body.

“We are facilitating the transition from school to work and trying to assist students (OHS student body) in the establishment of occupational goals,” Felix said of the diverse professionals invited to speak on campus.

Felix added that the objective of the speakers would be for students to hear the message from a ‘real’ professional versus computer research or an instructor lecturing.

One recent speaker was Modesto native and Entrepreneur Dan Costa. The self-made millionaire owns a number of businesses including Noble Outfitters, 5.11 Tactical Series and Velvet Creamery Restaurants. Close to 225 students and staff attended Costa’s presentation.

Prior to his visit to OHS, the Virtual Enterprise Class was put to task at promoting his appearance, inviting staff members as well as the student body to attend his presentation on entrepreneurship.

“He’s dyslexic and even with struggling with that he was a success in the business world,” OHS junior Omar Vazquez said of the guest speaker.

Sophomore and small business owner Ruby Houchen gained a bit more from the encounter with the entrepreneur.

“I gained a prospective business deal,” Houchen said, noting her own businesses Clip Clop Co. and Nice Clothing Co. The tenth grader shared she enrolled in the class to gain knowledge on marketing.

“I like being in teams and working with other people,” she continued. “The simulation part is fun, but it’s the actual group interaction I enjoy the most. Seeing it all come together. Overall this class is for someone interested in business.”

“As an instructor, my goal is also to have my business students strengthen their confidence in themselves and their work,” Felix said. “I want them to speak to community professionals with confidence and poise.

“My “old school philosophy” has me still believing that the strong handshake and being able to hold a conversation with another human being is still of the utmost importance,” the advisor concluded.