Last Friday was the second annual Mid-Ohio Valley Entrepreneurship Expo (MOVEE). While it was a great opportunity for local business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with each other and learn how to improve their businesses, it was also a chance for local high school students to experience their first conference. Over 60 students from Belpre, Marietta, and Parkersburg South high schools attended. How is this relevant to high school students? All of them are taking entrepreneurial or business classes this semester….talk about experiential learning.
Building Bridges to Careers partnered with the Office of Civic Engagement at Marietta College to develop a high school track for the day. The track included a conference orientation, attending a session and keynote presentations, visiting the vendors, and a follow-up reflection session to share their thoughts with the other high school students. Networking was highly encouraged!
When asked about their first impressions of the conference experience...
- I liked it. It was fun and allowed me to see what was available in Marietta. Sean, MHS
- The Hot Tax session I attended gave me some helpful tips about how to tackle taxes, if I choose to start my own business or not. Aiden, BHS
- The experience helped me understand more about businesses and ways to approach opportunities differently. Alex, MHS
- I had a lot of fun and learned many things about entrepreneurship. Drew, PSHS
- It is cool to meet new people and hear them express their ideas and experience in the business world. Austin, MHS
- I love how it forced us to be communicative with each other and really push our boundaries. Malcolm, BHS
- I thought the conference was a very good first experience. It taught me a lot about how to start up my own business and it gave me very good tips. Meadow, MHS
- After attending my first conference, my impressions are that there is a lot if work put into making one. I had a good time overall. Aaron, MHS
- I looked at things differently before I went there. The keynote speakers changed my perspective on things. Hailey, BHS
The students were also asked if they were influenced by attending MOVEE...
- It was eye opening to see how many businesses wanted to do business with other businesses. Spencer, MHS
- I learned that owning my own business is going to be challenging but it will pay off. Meadow, MHS
- Sarah Rosenstock is already our key inspiration and unofficial help because we are planning to do a shipping product project with the plan she introduced us to. Karley, BHS
- I got from this experience how creative you can be and succeed. Brady, MHS
- It definitely opened my mind to business, because I didn't know there were so many different types of businesses. Rachel, PSHS
- It made me have second thoughts of what my business idea should be, which made me switch it to a completely different topic. Alex, MHS
- It made me want to become an entrepreneur even more. Anthony, MHS
- After the expo and hearing from the great speakers, I now know that I do want to start my own business in the future. I feel more comfortable and more informed about my decision. Emily, PSHS
Conferences are a part of every profession, and this concept was highlighted during the orientation. All of the students integrated themselves into the conference environment quite easily. Oddly enough, several of them wanted more time to walk around and talk with the vendors...or maybe they just wanted the free stuff. Isn't that what we all do at conferences?