The Valued International Business and Economics club is thriving with new opportunities for students to engage in instruction with professors from all over the country to learn about business and economics. The club is a place where students interested in business and economics can come together to learn about how our world functions.
A multitude of clubs have been created during the COVID-19 pandemic. These clubs were made possible using newfound creative techniques on new virtual platforms, while tackling the challenge of not being able to meet in person.
Junior officers Kayla Song, Naz Yavuz and Elisa Zoltick decided to keep their club members entertained by having guest speakers from all around the country participate in Zoom meetings with students. During their latest meeting held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2020, students had the opportunity to learn from James Choi, a Yale Professor of Finance.
“I came up with the idea after finishing an internship with TALK leadership and a fellowship with representative Jamie Raskin, both programs formatted many “speaker sessions” where high school fellows could ask questions and learn from professionals in several different fields/issue areas,” Song said. “I thought that was a good format to build up how [WCHS] students could learn about international affairs, business and economics.”
The Zoom meeting consisted of a one-hour presentation that had polls and questions for students to answer to keep the meeting engaging. Officers noticed a lack of business-related classes at WCHS, which fueled the creation of the club.
“Only 2 business related classes are offered at WCHS, which does not prepare students well for the future,” Zoltick said. “By learning about this field early, we can prepare for the future.”
New struggles have emerged as students create clubs online, but COVID-19 is just another obstacle to be passed. There are multiple online platforms to communicate with the WCHS community, and the club reaches their members with two commonly used platforms, Instagram and email.
“We have been reaching out to a variety of speakers and professionals to really capture the broad scope of what international business and economics is,” Song said. “We strive to have monthly meetings with great speakers from prestigious schools who are experts in their fields.”
Students all over the world are overwhelmed with the amount of work and activity they have to complete online. Keeping everyone engaged is another challenge the club is fighting to accomplish.
“Getting students together would be the biggest challenge,” Zoltick said. “All this new technology is hard to navigate, but we are getting the hang of it.”
At first glance, the world of business seems like something only adults can conquer and control. Teens do not get the recognition they deserve for the opportunities they can bring to the world. This starts with education about the business side of the world.
“I was inspired to start this club because the fields of business and economics are not really introduced to us as high school students, until it is too late,” Song said. “You do not have to have any previous knowledge to come to our meetings.”
The club’s Instagram handle is @wchsvibe. The page contains information about monthly speakers and ways to contact the officers of the club. Their next speaker will be a professor at University of Maryland, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, the first Turkish social scientist who has received the Marie Curie IRG prize in 2008.
“We hope to expand our club to more students at WCHS, as well as provide a healthy environment which students can learn about modern day topics that are necessary for their future,” Zoltick said.