Around the UFT

Virtual Enterprises International Room reopening at Academy of Finance and Enterprise, Queens

Experiencing the global economy

The “trade show” gives students a chance to network and discuss their virtual coMiller PhotographyThe “trade show” gives students a chance to network and discuss their virtual companies.

Herrera (left) and UFT delegate Harika Lymberopoulos enter the renovated computeMiller PhotographyHerrera (left) and UFT delegate Harika Lymberopoulos enter the renovated computer lab. Students at the Academy of Finance and Enterprise in Long Island City, Queens, have something in common with Google: a computer lab with no walls. “We now have an open setting, like Google,” said business teacher Janina Morones. The computer lab is an important part of the school’s Virtual Enterprise program, which gives students a simulated global business experience, guiding them as they create and manage virtual businesses and learn the skills that go along with being an entrepreneur: product development, production, distribution, marketing, financing and web design. “It’s the culmination of our studies in entrepreneurship,” said Morones, the program coordinator. Nearly 200 students from 13 New York City high schools gathered on Nov. 4 for the reopening of the computer lab, which is called the Virtual Enterprises International Room. “We invited other schools with the same Virtual Enterprise program,” said Morones. It was a chance for students to network in real life, not just online, and to sell their virtual services and wares to each other using virtual bank accounts. City Councilman Daniel Dromm, the chairman of the council’s education committee, attended the ribbon-cutting. The auditorium was transformed into a trade-show floor, where students showed their virtual wares: everything from money management services to a company selling transportation devices including hover boards and scooters. “They got so involved, they thought it was real. They were actually buying products,” said Chapter Leader Jessica Herrera. “In the process, they learn other things such as how to write a check. It’s a very hands-on experience.”

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