Getting Smart: “Preparing Students for Career Success”

Learn about the career readiness competencies VE implements in their curriculum and how students develop and demonstrate them throughout the VE experience by reading the Getting Smart article, “Preparing Students for Career Success.” The VE Career Readiness Framework is split into four categories: Leadership, Professional, Functional, and Core Technology Skills. Tyler Fugazzie, Director of Communications for VEI, breaks down each category’s dimensions in the article.

Here are some questions that VE uses as a guide in preparing students for career success:

  1. What career readiness competencies do we currently teach?
  2. How can we teach students about the different career readiness competencies?
  3. What are projects students can work on to develop career readiness competencies?
  4. How can we track the development of career readiness competencies?
  5. How are we empowering students to explore possible career pathways?
  6. How do we connect what students learn to the real world of work?
  7. What activities and approaches can we take to encourage student collaboration?
  8. How can we offer environments in the school that resemble a workplace?
  9. How can we connect students with business leaders and industry professionals?
  10. How are we giving students ways to test possible careers?

Read more here: “Preparing Students for Career Success”

Top 6 2018 National Business Plan Competition Presentations

The National Business Plan Competition (NBPC) showcases some of the best and brightest student leaders and budding entrepreneurs in the country. 28 VE companies from around the country made it to the 2018 National Business Plan Competition after demonstrating strong written business plans and oral presentations to panels of industry professionals and educators.

Watch the presentations of the top 6 teams below!

1st Place — Anomalous, Bakersfield HS, CA


2nd Place — SoleMates, Murrieta Valley HS, CA


3rd Place —  BluePrint, Francis Lewis HS, NY


4th Place — H to O: Hydration to Others, Greer HS, SC


5th Place — Sprout, Edward R. Murrow HS, NY


6th Place — Highrise Gardens, Bloomington HS, CA


Watch the 2018 NBPC Top 6 Teams on YouTube!

May Social Media Highlights

Students are developing and applying their career readiness competencies through their daily work experience in the classroom, professional development activities, leadership events, major VE program components such as creating annual reports and practicing employee recognition.

As school and the VE fiscal year is winding down to an end, we would like to congratulate our graduating students and we look forward to the new generation of VE students. Stay in touch with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

LI Herald: “Memorial to offer virtual enterprise course”

Starting in Fall 2018, Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School will be joining the VE family as they begin offering VE-JV beginning in 7th grade. Valley Stream Memorial JHS’s 8th graders will join the program in 2019.

In addition to learning Microsoft Excel and design programs throughout the school year, the seventh graders will continue their VE-JV experience in a business leadership camp taking place the following summer.

“‘It’s really a very early jump-start for the business world,’ [Principal Brett] Strauss said, adding that the program would give students more experience in business before they entered the Future Business Leaders of America club in high school.”

Read the full story here: “Memorial to offer virtual enterprise course

Illinois VE Students Share End-of-Year Reflections

On May 21, 2018, six VE firms from Neuqua Valley High School welcomed VEI President Nick Chapman to their VE closing ceremony, where they shared year-end reflections, discussed important program takeaways, and shared student portfolios and company annual reports.

Jump to Section

What is VE: Student Testimonials

Greatest Takeaways from VE: Student Reflections

Student Portfolios

Company Annual Reports

Closing Ceremony Social Media

Media Gallery

What is VE: Student Testimonials

Three Neuqua Valley High School students share how the VE program impacted them.

Greatest Takeaways from VE: Student Reflections

TAXES! I learned more about personal taxes and corporate taxes, which are very essential to know about in the real world.” – Bryan Johnson, Catalyst

“That in order to succeed in real life you need to put yourself in positions that might make you uncomfortable. If you want to be the boss someday then you have to get used to leading your peers.” – Mitchell Donahue, Catalyst

“The greatest takeaway from this course is managing deadlines. Everything in VE has a due date, and that has kept me on top of all of my VE work. Now, whenever something is thrown at me, I tackle it immediately instead of putting it off, because that’s the most efficient way to work!” – Gabija Tonkunas, Chief Project Manager, Legacy

“The one greatest takeaway from this course is the professional experiences that I was able to be a part of. From interviews to résumé writing, this class gave me the most realistic outlook on what having a job really looks like and the process necessary to obtain, maintain, and be successful in a job.” – Katherine Williams, Marketing & Sales, Legacy

“I think one of the greatest takeaways from the course is the realization of how important it is to work as a team. Yes, people can attempt to do things individually (and occasionally find success), but the more valuable goals will be achieved as a team. I have also realized that it is crucial to collaborate with other departments to complete many documents and complete goals as a company.” – Joe Kennedy, Accounting & Finance, Summit

Student Portfolios

Student portfolios are a dynamic way for students to capture and share their newly-acquired work experience. A student portfolio can include a biography, résumé, professional summary, VE company information, and demonstration of the career readiness competencies (Leadership, Professional, Functional, Core Technology Skills) developed during their VE experience.

Check out links to the portfolios for four Neuqua Valley High School VE students to use as inspiration to create your own student portfolio.

Maggie Martin, Chief Financial Officer, Spectrum

Sarah Paolucci, Chief Project Manager, Spectrum

Nick Szimon, Chief Executive Officer, Affinity

Bryan Johnson, Bank Manager, Catalyst

Company Annual Reports

Click on the links below to see what these Neuqua Valley High School VE firms accomplished and learned in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

2017-2018 Affinity Annual Report
2017-2018 Catalyst Annual Report
2017-2018 Legacy Annual Report
2017-2018 Spectrum Annual Report
2017-2018 Summit Annual Report

Closing Ceremony Social Media






Media Gallery

American Public Media’s Marketplace: “How to learn the business of business as a high schooler”

Photo by: Shaheen Ainpour/Marketplace

Marketplace’s Shaheen Ainpour attended the 2018 Youth Business Summit and interviewed VE students from TropiCoffee of Cooper City High School in Cooper City, Florida and Chameleon of Spring Hill High School in Chapin, South Carolina.

The program is an effort to teach students the kind of business skills that you can’t learn from a textbook. High school student Matthew Plonskeer, TropiCoffee’s CEO, said before taking VE, he was focused on doing work for himself, “whereas here, in order to operate as a successful company … you really have to work together.”

Read and listen to the full story here: “How to learn the business of business as a high schooler

South Pasadenan: “$10,000 Awarded | Oneonta Club Scholarships Ceremony”

VE student Kate Ba was one of three South Pasadena High School seniors who were awarded $10,000 scholarships from the Oneonta Club. The Philip V. Swan Oneonta Scholarship recognizes students who display a passion or commitment for something: “We are looking for the person that will achieve and one day make a difference in the world.” Ba, who started VE in her junior year and became CEO during her senior year, earned the scholarship because of her passion to become a business leader and will focus on business management in her college career.

For the last 43 years, the Philip V. Swan Scholarship has been supported by Oneonta Club membership and other generous donors. The foundation rewards three South Pasadena High seniors and two South Pasadena Unified School District teachers every year.

Read the full story here: “$10,000 Awarded | Oneonta Club Scholarships Ceremony

Patchogue Patch: “PMHS Student Gets Scholarship to LIU Post for Virtual Enterprise”

Megan Kremer, CEO of VE firm EVOTech and Patchogue-Medford High School graduating senior, was awarded a full ride scholarship to Long Island University. The T. Denny Sanford Scholarship acknowledges outstanding students such as Kremer, who in addition to running her school’s VE class, won the NYS StockMarket game in 2016, is a member of the Raiderettes, treasurer of the National Business Honor Society, and President of FBLA. She led EVOTech to the National Business Plan Competition finals this year. Her VE facilitator, Rich Butzke, said of Kremer, “‘I have had her in my classes for three years now and she continues to be one of my top students in everything that she does.'”

Congratulations Megan!

Read the full story here: “PMHS Student Gets Scholarship to LIU Post for Virtual Enterprise

2018 Bay Area Conference & Exhibition

March 17-18, 2018
Oakland Marriott City Center
Oakland, CA

Key Stats

  • 1,000 total attendees
  • 36 schools
  • 59 firms
  • 800 students
  • 40 volunteers

Participant Quotes

“VE student employees from New York, Illinois, Oregon, California, and Germany competed and traded with an incredible amount of energy and passion. Their creativity and hard work was evident by their amazing booth designs and professional salesmanship.”

– Jake Stuebbe, Northern California VE Regional Director

“Virtual Enterprise better prepares our students, for not only the work world, but a step ahead in the college environment.”

– Wil Richberg, VE Facilitator of James Logan High School in Union City, California

“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Our journey from New York to San Fran was an amazing experience. We won 1st place in the HR competition, and all the hard work we put in, and practicing until 2 am in the hotel hallways, it felt like such a genuine business experience.”

– Dylan Mendoza, Human Resources of Nuapps of Francis Lewis High School in New York

“The VE program for us is opening a lot of opportunities for the students. We came all the way from Germany so we want to see how all the teams are prepared, how they are doing it, and gathering all the experiences.”

– Martin Strauss, VE Facilitator of HLA High School in Gernsbach, Germany

Competition Results

Results for top teams in the WOW Factor, Marketing Plan, Financial Statements, Human Resources, Elevator Pitch, Venture Challenge, Employee Handbook, Video Commercial, and Company Branding competitions can be found at the Competitions Results page.

View Competition Results


German and California Teams Bond Over Bicycles

Lars Plonz, CEO of Restube from HLA Gernsbach in Gernsbach, Germany presents a sculpture of Karl von Drais, inventor of the modern bicycle, to the CEO of Lockdown from Union City High School in Union City, California. The team from Germany comes from a place where Von Drais once lived, so they felt instantly connected to Lockdown since their firm focused on selling smart bike locks for the urban commuter. The present was given to thank Lockdown for the hospitality and help they provided the team from Germany.

Lars said of the Bay Area Trade Show, “It was a great intercultural experience for our company to be part of the Bay Area Trade Show. We had the chance to participate in two competitions. First we thought it would be impossible to succeed but with all the support of the organizing team and the help of other VE students we had a great time. It was well worth the long trip to make this exceptional experience!”

Social Media Contest Winners

Big City Merch, Armijo High School, CA

Grow N’ Go, Fountain Valley High School, CA

BLOC, South Pasadena High School, CA



Thank You to Our Supporters

Thank you to the DSN and to Long Island University for your generous donations in support of the VE program.

Thank you, also, to the volunteers, supporters, and staff members, for this event would not have been such a success without you all!

Valley News: “MVHS Virtual Enterprise promotes business training for high school students”

Peter Thorwarth of Valley News covered Murrieta Valley High School’s VE firms, SoleMates and Clear Coast Eyewear. The article discusses the firms’ successes at the 2018 Youth Business Summit and the impact the VE program has had on the students.

“I learned people need to be rewarded, how to mediate and I developed better social skills,” Marissabel Maldonado, a human resources associate, said.

“It has taught me how to handle situations and properly discuss them with your employees,” Brinley Bowler of human resources said. Her boss at her real job at Painted Earth told her, “No high school student knows how to do these things you’ve shown me. You’re going to go far in life.”

Read the full story here: “MVHS Virtual Enterprise promotes business training for high school students