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Alpena High School’s Virtual Enterprise Class is Preparing the Next Generation of Business

Alpena Public School’s Career and Technical Education Marketing program is preparing students for the future in their Virtual Enterprise course.

Students find value in this hands on education, with Alpena High School junior, Michael Kreis, saying, “All of our teachers are amazing, all of the people here are amazing, it’s great vibes, we have fun together, and get all of our work done.”

In Virtual Enterprise class, students launch and manage the growth of a digital company, 45 North, in a digital, international economy of 7,000 plus student–run businesses in 40 plus countries. “So, we have this virtual business called 45 North, and we can sell many different things,” says Aili Lee, AHS junior, “From cars, to clothing, to skincare, a lot of things, to other classes that are similar.”

The class is taught by instructor, Melissa Timmreck, who is there to support while they lead the business. “It gets the students thinking in a career mindset of being a chief executive officer running a team of fellow students that might be a vice president or they’re working as a web designer,” says Timmreck, “And to start off the year they’ve interviewed for their positions, so we have several different departments that they work in.”

The students are eager to take these skills and apply them to their careers. “We’re really involved with the community and meeting new people and getting new challenges to help me better my future,” said Breanne Smolinski, AHS senior. Classmate, Isabelle Liske (AHS Junior), says, “I want to major or minor marketing because I want to own my own business when I’m older. So I think this is going to help me with the first step of that and be able to start my career.”

They work hard as a team to reach success for their company as they compete, and are having fun while doing so. “I just made memories you can’t make in any other class,” said Carter Steark, AHS Senior.

The students are preparing for their first competition of the year where they will put their business skills to the test. With the help of local and international mentors, their product may be one of the unique products at the Virtual Enterprise Trade Show.