High Schoolers Learn About Business Careers
Through Summer Program

BETS 2010

Twenty-eight high school students from Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina visited the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in July for a week-long program that allows them to explore the world of business and possible business careers.

This is the third year for "Business Education for Talented Students" (BETS), a program that allows students from communities underrepresented in the business world to learn more about business career opportunities. Over the past three years, 68 high school students have participated in this program, which is free to all participants.

The students attended presentations by UT faculty members and business experts to learn about the various business majors offered in UT's College of Business Administration including accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resource management, public administration, enterprise management, logistics, and statistics. They also attended presentations on topics such as dressing for success, funding a college education, personal finance, enhanced writing skills, and marketing the Vols. Team-building activities (such as a ropes course) were offered, and the students had the opportunity to take field trips to accounting firm LBMC, SunTrust, Ruby Tuesday's corporate offices, and to meet with Russ Jensen, director of 311 Knoxville, the city's customer service call center. The week concluded with a "Marketplace" competition, a team-based, business-simulation game that allows students to "run" a company as business professionals. 

"Two of the reasons we host BETS is to introduce high school students to the opportunities our college offers and to allow participants to become familiar with UT and college life," said Tyvi Small, the college’s coordinator of diversity initiatives. "We know that the program works. Sixteen of last year's 30 attendees will be attending UT this fall, two of whom were awarded the $1,000 Sarah Louise Motts/BETS Scholarship for pre-business majors. Four from the 2008 class of 10 attendees entered UT Knoxville as freshmen."

This year's participants include 18 young women and 10 young men with an average GPA of 3.67 (out of 4.0). All are rising seniors who were nominated by counselors or community members. Of the 28 attendees, 25 are from Tennessee, representing 13 high schools from the Knoxville and Memphis areas; there is one student attending each from Charlotte, North Carolina.; Ellenwood, Georgia; and Statesboro, Georgia. 

Funding for the 2010 BETS program is provided by the PepsiCo Foundation as part of its $350,000 five-year grant to the college's diversity efforts.

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