Business Classes and our Community

Business Classes and Our Community
Posted on 12/20/2021

MHS Students Learn Business Success from Our Local Business Owners
By:  Sarah Gooch, MHS Business Teacher

  Have you ever wanted to ask a successful business person about their beginnings? How did their business evolve to where it is today? What advice do they have? Julius Caesar stated, "Experience is the teacher of all things." Introduction to Business students at Mexico High School (MHS) have the opportunity to learn these things and more from local business professionals as they explore various career fields and develop tools to set them up for success as they enter the "real world."

Seven years ago, Dana Keller, Mexico Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, challenged MHS teachers to invite business professionals into classrooms to speak with students about their expertise. Dana told of a community willing to give their experience and time to empower the next generation. This challenge was the beginning of speakers in the Introduction to Business class, and one speaker led to another. Guests brought valuable information, and students learned expectations, creating a win-win opportunity for employers and potential employees. Keller's challenge has led to 100+ business and community professionals helping to educate MHS business students in one year.

Students have engaged 18+ speakers this semester with philosophical and open-ended questions.  Below are some of these questions that lead to conversations about what success looks like in an industry.

How do you make money?

Who is your competition?

How do you price products?

When an employee quits, what happens?

Who manages the accounting?

What if there is a recall?

How did Covid affect your business?

What do you look for in an employee?

How much does the government control your business?

What technology does your business use?

What does a typical day look like?

Who makes the final business decisions?

What is a most unusual story, and how was it handled?

What is a consumer issue regarding money in your business?

Experiences, such as mock job interviews in the Intro to Business classes, leave an impression on students that surpass the class's duration. Mock interviews serve as a learning component that prepares students for the workforce. Students have vocalized they are grateful for this opportunity to try and refine interviewing skills with professionals before employment or college admission is at stake. Graduates have remarked that these semi-annual mocks led them to attain their current jobs. The fall interview is on "Dress for Success" day. The spring interview is in March and allows seniors to "get their name heard" before scholarship committees meet and an opportunity for scholarship committee members to meet eligible candidates.

Students who developed further interest in business have gone on to join Future Business Leaders of America and have the opportunity to participate in national competitions. The experiences with professionals and mock interviews in the Introduction to Business classes have shown MHS students what success looks like in the workforce and how to achieve it. Next semester the class focus is Intro to Entrepreneurship; students are eager to meet more entrepreneurs from Mid-Missouri.

For more information, contact [email protected]