Mesa’s Virtual Enterprise classes had left Tuesday night to compete in the California Trade Show in Bakersfield. The event, which spans two days, consists of various business-related competitions, such as Sales, Marketing, and Business Plan, as well as a trade fair for all of the companies on Thursday. In particular, Business Plan is a national competition; the top five finalists from California go on to compete in New York in April. It consists of a twelve-minute presentation before a panel of judges, followed by a question-and-answer period. Both companies have spent the months prior to the Trade Show crafting their businesses and preparing for competition. Hours were spent on non-school days to do so.
Mesa’s two Business Plan teams entered Bakersfield with high expectations; the school’s Business Plan teams had placed first and second in last year’s competition. Both teams made a strong effort Wednesday; they were able to advance to a third round. However, Odyssey’s run was doomed to end by that night. After Mrs. Sheldon’s announcement, both teams were noticeably shocked. Following a long period of tears and consolation, Mrs. Sheldon refocused on preparing the Glean team for their final round of presentation.
CMHS Virtual Enterprise left Bakersfield with light spirits despite some disappointment. Odyssey CEO Michelle Luna reflected, “We should feel very happy or thankful that we even have this program at school… Win or lose in competition, you’re promoting yourself as a person and that’s very special… We were all molded and united by this experience.”