Even if high school students have a goal of becoming a doctor or lawyer, they must realize those types of professions are businesses and must be run as such, according to D. N. Rose, president and chief executive officer of Mountain Fuel Supply Co.
He gave that assessment this week during the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's 14th annual Business Week that brings together 227 soon-to-be seniors from 74 high schools from all parts of Utah to study the finer points of business.Rose, who has been chairman of the week's activities for four years and a speaker for nine years prior to that, said some students understand the free enterprise system, but don't understand how business makes the system work. "By the time they are through here this week they will know that being a doctor or dentist also involves a business.," Rose said.
Some of the students attending Business Week haven't yet found their niche and the week's activities have helped some of the students move toward business. Rose considers the $65,000 spent during the week an investment in the future of American business and the free enterprise system.
Rose has been impressed with the enthusiasm and motivation of this year's Business Week participants, saying they are one of the top groups he has seen. "You hear a lot about the children of today with their gangs and other problems, but this group is loaded with enthusiasm and they are capable of doing plenty of good," he said.
Kent Besaw, 17, Hillcrest High School, said he was alerted to Business Week by friends who knew he was interested in business. He would like to earn a degree in accounting with a goal of working his way up to a management position.
Besaw said the several companies formed by the students makes learning about business exciting and making friends from all parts of the state has been fun.
Amber Ence, 17, Dixie High School, learned about Business Week through the Future Business Leaders of America chapter at her high school and had a natural interest because her father owns a construction business in St. George. She said the speakers are informative, she has learned to use her imagination and be creative, and the friends she met through the companies will last a long time.
Rose said there are 74 company sponsors, each donating $300 to host a student for a week. All students pay $50 to ensure their commitment to the activities. Four teachers, 18 advisers, eight people representing businesses and 30 speakers are participating.
Deborah Bayle, vice president of administrative services for the chamber and program director for the week, sums it up: "It's a week that can change lives."