Shark sighting! At Holy Family Catholic High School? Business sharks, that is. Nearly 30 students met at Holy Family on October 5 to kick off the newest extracurricular academic activity —the Holy Family Business & Marketing Club.
The big turnout shows strong interest from its leaders, parents and students in expanding Holy Family’s business offerings. And it dovetails seamlessly with the Holy Family Catholic High School goal of providing academic and extracurricular activities that allow students to gain real-life experiences.
“Many of you said you want to figure out if business is what you want to do in college and for a career,” Robb Richter said to a packed room of seniors who attended the kickoff meeting. “If you eventually decide business is what you want to pursue, you’ll learn enough here alone that should help you get that internship as a freshman.”
Richter, a Holy Family parent and, more importantly, an accomplished business leader in corporate acquisitions, is taking a no-nonsense approach when sharing his knowledge with this group of highly engaged students. Here are just a few thoughts he offered at the first meeting:
- “I have been inside companies so deep that things scare me. You’re going to learn why we didn’t buy those companies.”
- “If asking for money, wear a tie or break out your best.”
- “So many companies have debt. It’s become a way of doing business. If you can avoid it, don’t do it.”
- And when it comes to a company’s vision, “If you don’t outline what your organization wants to be or how it wants the world to see it, you won’t get past the first meeting.”
How much more real-life can you get?
Richter’s plan for the Business & Marketing Club goes deeper than sharing personal experiences. It’s a hands-on approach that gives the students full exposure to broad business topics to help them get a sense of which business tracks interest them most.
Twenty-eight sessions are scheduled throughout the school year, all conducted in the evenings, with students attending on their own time. The first nine meetings are already planned, and students will weigh in on where the program goes from there. Topics to be covered include:
- Creating a corporate vision and mission
- Understanding EBITA, COGS, GM and IRR
- Creating effective business presentations
- Understanding corporate financial statements
- Outlining the nuts and bolts of marketing and advertising
- Building resumes and talented teams
Also planned are field trips to Twin Cities businesses and visits from corporate leaders who will share their real-world knowledge.
The club’s sequence culminates with the students pitching their own business ideas to “shark investors” in a real boardroom. By that time, they’ll be prepared to answer the tough questions, while putting their business savvy and creativity to the test.
“I hope you get something out of this that is different from what you get every day in school,” Richter said to the students attending the kickoff.
The Holy Family Business & Marketing Club is open to current seniors at Holy Family High School, with the pilot year helping establish a broader plan for Holy Family’s curricular business offerings.
“While I was a member of the strategic planning committee, the idea of some type of business program surfaced multiple times and the demand for it was also voiced in surveys and focus groups,” Richter shares. “These seniors will help formulate the next iteration of what business and marketing education becomes for future Holy Family students.”
And that, by definition, is entrepreneurial!