By Sushmitha Suresh
Photos courtesy of Twitter
The three VEI firms, Apollo, MetaNova, and Never Ending, were given the opportunity this past weekend to go work in a trade show in the Big Apple. While the students were in New York City, they observed and practiced business strategies not just in their booths at the trade show, but on the streets of Times Square.
“The main purpose was to participate in real life simulated trade show where they attempted to try to sell the products that they had been promoting all year to customers from around the world,” VEI facilitator Patrick Brusveen said. “Outside of the actual trade show experience, we were able to explore New York to see what it’s all about. We were able to see Times Square and see how they market everything down there and how it’s just kind of a whole different animal when you’re in New York City versus Aurora and Naperville.”
The students had a six hour work day with all three of Metea’s firms convincing others to purchase their products. “What we had set up was a rotation schedule where we had one person behind the booth to make sure that everything stayed in order and all the invoices stayed in the piles,” senior Caroline Reeb said. “We had one pile for a raffle tickets where we gave out a Visa card and another for regular invoices. The other people were selling outside the booth and we had one person walking around to buy from other people and to continue to participate in the trade show.”
In VEI, students are given the opportunity to create their own firms that sell products that they think are relevant to the business world. “My firm, Apollo, sells innovative sports. We basically think that sports are evolving these days and so we’re keeping up with the times. So we sell products such as spike ball, bubble ball, balloon soccer, and other stuff,” Reeb said.
Students benefitted from the real world experience to go on and pursue their own business opportunities. “Holding this trade show gave them the opportunity to take all the skills that they had practiced and worked on and prepared for and organized and to actually put it into real life work. They could see it in action in the real world,” Brusveen said.
“Mr. Brusveen makes sure that you as a person and in the business are doing your part and he’s not babying you on the way. You’re on your feet and you’re creating your own goals. It’s the best class to take if you’re thinking about whether or not you want to be in business since you’re just thrown out there,” Reeb said. “I always feel like I’m going to work when I go in there but it’s not like a bad feeling. I love that class.”