Students take part in Mini Business World
Event offers look at many aspects of business


Dec. 9, 2014

About 100 students from Slinger High School took part in a Mini Business World on Monday on the campus of West Bend Mutual Insurance. Organizers said the event gives high school students a flavor for the world of business and entrepreneurship as they begin to make critical post-high school decisions. 
Joe VanDeLaarschot/Daily News

WEST BEND - Some say the best way to learn is by doing.

That’s just what about 100 students from Slinger High School did Monday when they took part in a Mini Business World on the West Bend Mutual Insurance campus in West Bend.

Event facilitator Steve Benzschawel, who’s also an employee of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, said the one-day event was a business and entrepreneurship program for high school students. The event was produced by the WMC Foundation and sponsored by the Slinger/Allenton Rotary Club.

“It gives high school students a flavor for the world of business and entrepreneurship as they begin to make critical post-high school decisions,” Benzschawel said. “Students are challenged to take over an old, outdated company and re-brand it in one day, complete with new product, logo and tagline. Communications and finance projects round out the student experience. Students leave with an increased knowledge of the workplace, the Wisconsin economy.”

Slinger High School business teacher Brad Naumann said the program shows students the challenges businesses face when making everyday decisions in areas such as finance, marketing and communications.

“The students interact with others in their ‘company,’ allowing them to collaborate and function as a team, just like in the real world of business,” Naumann said. “They also learn about what makes the various generations different in the business world. This is the first time students from Slinger have been at this event.”

Fellow Slinger business teacher Arlene Roche said the event offers students something that would have been difficult to duplicate in the classroom.

“This event runs all day, but our classes only run for 40 minutes, so they can accomplish a lot here in one day that might take a lot longer in the classroom,” Roche said. “But, they will take what they’ve learned here and we’ll discuss it and use it in the classroom.”

Senior Riley Rafko said attending the Mini Business World was a worthwhile experience.

“We really get to have a better understanding of working in the business world,” Rafko said. “It would have been much more difficult in the classroom because class time is so limited.”

Senior Bryan Laute said the one-day event will be valuable.

“We can call on the ideas and what we learned here when we’re back in the classroom,” Laute said.

“We get to see a real-life business example,” senior Shea Rettler said. “We can talk about all of this when we return to the classroom.”

Both Naumann and Roche said they have been impressed with how the students dove into the day’s exercises and how much enthusiasm they have shown about learning from attending the event.

The Mini Business World program is a precursor to the full four-day Business World summer programs which will take place in June at Edgewood College in Madison and St. Norbert College in De Pere.