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High Schoolers Explore Business World through Summer Program

KNOXVILLE -- Twenty-nine high school students from all across Tennessee were on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus for a weeklong program that allowed them to learn about the world of business and potential business careers.

This is the fourth year for Business Education for Talented Students (BETS), a program that allowed students from communities underrepresented in the business world to explore business career opportunities. Over the past four years, 89 high school students have participated in this program, which is no cost to them.

The students attended presentations by UT Knoxville faculty members and business experts to learn about the various business majors offered in UT Knoxville's College of Business Administration, including accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resource management, public administration, enterprise management, logistics and statistics.

The students attended presentations on topics such as dressing for success, office etiquette, funding a college education, personal finance and enhanced writing skills. They will engage in team-building activities, such as a ropes course, and take field trips to accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Alcoa, PepsiCo and the Knoxville Mayor's office.

The week concluded with the "Marketplace" competition, a team-based, business-simulation game that allowed the students to "run" a company as business professionals. 

"We view the BETS program as a perfect opportunity to introduce high school students to all of what our college has to offer and allow them to get a sneak peak of what college life is like," said Tyvi Small, the college's coordinator of diversity initiatives. "In fact, many of the students end up enrolling here."

This year's participants are rising seniors with an average GPA of 3.74 (out of 4.0) who were nominated by counselors or community members. All 29 attendees are from Tennessee, representing 17 high schools and nine cities. 

Funding for the 2011 BETS program is provided by the PepsiCo Foundation as part of its $350,000 five-year grant to the college's diversity efforts.

For more information about the UT Knoxville College of Business Administration, visit

June 2011

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