Students learn about American business by operating their own company
American Business is a unique 15-day summer program designed to introduce high school students to business as a possible career. In a team-based simulation, students learn about the business world by running their own company as they solve daily business challenges together.
Students Will Learn…
- About the key areas of business – accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, and operations.
- What it means to be an entrepreneur, to have a career in business or to work in a corporation.
- How to be successful working as a part of a team.
- How you can’t be successful, unless you work with your team…
- How important it is to communicate and listen to others…
- That there is no one right answer in business…
- To explore business as a possible university major/minor by performing key business roles in leading a company.
Why Study Business?
Whether as an entrepreneur with the excitement of dreaming up a new product or service, or as a manager at Apple Computer, it takes a range of skills and talents to successfully run a business.
Our goal in American Business is to introduce students to the full range of job functions. We examine the creative element of identifying new products and meeting consumer needs; discover imaginative ways of marketing products; and learn the many facets of operating a company and what people actually do in human resources, marketing, new product development, operations, finance and accounting.
A Unique Learning Approach
This is all accomplished through competitive simulation “rounds” as teams make key decisions about their company. Each 4-person team is supported by an advisor who provides guidance throughout the 2-week simulation.
Expert Faculty & Innovative Instruction
Faculty has been carefully selected to lead our program and focus on the American way of problem-solving, working in teams, and practice in communicating decisions. In addition, business student interns will join our faculty to support student teams.
Guest speakers from area businesses join our program each week. These speakers describe their roles in marketing, finance, accounting, human resources and operations. Students will be truly inspired by what they see and hear from staff in these companies – and, as a result, very likely motivated to pursue business in their college education.
In addition, through visits to area companies, students learn how intellectually challenging jobs can be within a business environment. We’ll visit or have guest speakers from: IBM,Unilever, a leading international food services company and their Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream; JDK Design; and Select Design. In these company visits or in guest speakers we’ll meet with staff to discuss their work in marketing and new product design.
How Does American Business Work?
Teams make important daily decisions. Students work in teams and practice a wide range of business skills as they run competing companies. They learn about the following key areas of business:
- Marketing Strategy/Product Marketing
- Firm Marketing
- Product Design
- Operations Management
- Human Resources
Students learn how finance, accounting, marketing, operations, and human resources all impact a firm’s success. Each day, student teams respond to increasingly complex scenarios, make team-decisions, and compete with other teams.
Each four student team will have an advisor who assists in analyzing data, reading financial statements, and guiding the team in the key issue facing their company in each “decision round” (each day there will be one or more decision rounds for each team). Students will learn to voice their opinions, listen to the views of other students, and learn how to work effectively in a group. Teams will identify possible options for their company and make carefully considered decisions. The advisor will not make decisions for the team but will help ask the right questions to guide team decisions.
Discussion and Debate in the Classroom
Each day teachers will introduce new aspects of business such as marketing, finance, human resources — and concepts such as product quality, new product design and staff training. Students will be encouraged to discuss these concepts openly in class and share their opinions. Within teams, and during full class sessions, open debate will be encouraged.
Business Concepts Covered
- Management, accounting, marketing, finance
- Effective decision-making
- Impact of decision made on the firm
- Competitive advantage
- Debt vs. equity for financing
- Forecasting demand
- Capacity planning
- Analyzing and using financial data
- Competitor analysis
- Industry analysis
- Integration of functional business areas
- Learn how to read and complete an income statement
- The cornerstones of business – customer satisfaction, costs, revenue, profit
- The impact of technology
- The challenge of reduced demand
- The role of quality
- The role of advertising
- The concept of adding value
- The affordability of staff
- The dynamics of market forces and pricing
- The impact of interest and tax on profit
- The value chain – suppliers, inputs, processes, outputs, customers
- Financial Analysis and Concepts
- Balance Sheets and Income Statements
- Management Ratios
- Financial Reporting
- Business and Financial Communication
Professor: Tom Chittenden
Thomas Chittenden obtained his MBA from the University of Vermont in 2004. His work experience includes systems engineering consulting with Competitive Computing in Colchester VT, Reporting Analyst for Level 3 Communications and Asset Transfer Representative for Janus Mutual Funds.
He is experienced in financial services, telecommunications, higher education, computer networks and virtualization as well as developing information systems and technology adaptation/integration into existing business processes and workflows.
Guest Speakers: many entrepreneurs and experienced staff from local companies will join us to describe their work in marketing, new product design and finance. Students will be inspired by what they see and hear!
15-day Program Fee - Includes tuition, room/board, insurance and excursions; does not include airfare. Non-credit course. Certificate of completion issued by The University of Vermont upon successful completion of the program. Inquire about this program for more information about fees.
A Typical Daily Schedule
|8:30 – 9:45||Class with faculty presentations and lectures|
|9:45 – 10:00||break|
|10:00 – 11:45||business company simulation; teams arrive at key decisions in running their business|
|12:00 – 1:15||lunch|
|1:30 – 3:30||company visit or guest speaker|
|4:00 – 5:30||free time or outdoor activity|
|5:30 – 6:30||dinner|
|7:00-8:30||Evening activity (movie, walk into Burlington, outdoor games, etc.)|
The University of Vermont combines faculty-student relationships most commonly found in a small liberal arts college with the resources of a major research institution. The university is home to 10,459 undergraduates, 1,540 graduate students, 449 medical students and 1,471 full- and part-time faculty. Located in Burlington, Vermont (perennially voted one of America’s most exciting small cities), UVM‘s setting in a valley on the shores of Lake Champlain, between the Adirondack and the Green mountain ranges, inspires visitors and residents.
Want to know more about what makes UVM so special?
How UVM Ranks: Top 100 National Universities Category
Source US News & World Report
- #22 UVM’s faculty rank among research universities with enrollments under 16,000, a circle that includes many of the nation’s foremost schools.
- #7 UVM rank for most classes with under 20 students.
- #5 UVM’s rank among doctoral universities for the percent of its undergraduates who study abroad
- #7 The UVM Lawrence Debate Union’s world-wide International Debate Education Association ranking.
Quotes about UVM
“At the high point of their 2011/12 season, The University of Vermont was ranked seventh in the world by the International Debate Education Association, just behind Cambridge, Oxford, and Yale and ahead of the likes of London School of Economics, Harvard, and Stanford, all in an elite top thirty among hundreds of competing institutions.”
-Vermont Quarterly Magazine
“According to the Wall Street Journal, college admissions directors are relying less on grade point averages and standardized test scores, and are relying more on success in academically related extracurricular activities such as speech and debate.”
-Prof. Minh Luong, Forensics and College Admissions, Yale University
Quotes about Burlington, Vermont
“Top 10 college town”
-New York Times
“One of the best place to go to college (UVM and Burlington).”
“One of the nation’s best towns.”
“Coolest college town in America”
-Travel & Leisure magazine
“Second greenest city in America”
-Earth Day Network
“Healthiest city in America”
-Centers for Disease Control
“One of five best places to live and ride”