VE Takes on E-Z Key

As the Virtual Enterprise (VE) elective kicks off with the school year, a new group of students are learning hands-on skills for running an efficient and prosperous business.

     “VE students establish and manage a company that replicates all the functions and demands of a real business,” VE teacher Dr. Benedict Tieniber explained. “In each firm, or class, students apply to work in different areas of the company overseen by department managers and a CEO.” A typical firm is staffed in operations, management, accounting, finance, sales, marketing, legal, risk, human resources, and IT departments.

     In addition to the students having a responsibility to operate a successful mock business, they are also in charge of collectively brainstorming and coming up with potential company ideas, and eventually unanimously deciding which product idea will flourish best. VE introduces its new company, E-Z Key, whose purpose is to provide a more efficient way to open one’s front door by using an app and keycard, in place of a traditional house key. Senior and VE Sales Associate Michael Dichter was awarded Employee of the Month as he was the brain behind the E-Z Key company. When asked what led him to the idea of E-Z Key, Michael said, “I wanted to make a door lock that was efficient and easy to open.” He continued, “Whether you have your hands full, or just don’t want to carry around a bunch of annoying keys, a simple solution is granted by E-Z key.”

     Given the multitude of roles needed to run a successful business, each student serves as a critical member of the employee team. Tieniber shared what he feels are some of the skills learned in VE: “…a greater awareness of conducting a business in a global context, the ability to develop problem-solving strategies and work in teams, entrepreneurial skills and concepts, and an understanding of management objectives and organizational structures.” 

     Each member of the class has specific responsibilities depending on his or her position. The positions of this year’s class are as follows: Jordan Abate, marketing associate; Matthew Comegna, marketing associate; Tyler Denker, VP of human resources; Michael Dichter, sales associate; Asa Freeman, co-chief operating officer (COO); Gabrielle Geller, chief executive officer (CEO); Jordan Glickman, co-chief marketing officer (CMO); Jaden Harvin, co-VP of sales; Nahian Islam, chief technology officer (CTO); Harrison Kirby, VP of communications; Christian Meszaros, sales manager; Kaelynn O’Brien, co-CMO; Sean O’Donovan, sales associate; James O’Hara, sales associate; Carlo Pantano, sales associate; Sivan Roditi, marketing associate; Luca Russo, office manager; Esteban Salazar, bank manager; Hailey Samelson, co-COO; Sophia Schneider, co-chief financial officer (CFO); Matthew Sollitto, co-VP of sales; Samir Souidi, VP of social media; Daniel Votano, sales associate; and Olivia Vuotto, co-CFO.

     Junior and CEO Gabi Geller has many responsibilities, and the success of the business is greatly influenced by her decisions. “I am in charge of delegating jobs for my classmates,” she said, “and I am responsible for managing and leading the business planning process and business goals. I oversee the company and represent the Lynbrook enterprise at all functions and events.” 

      Senior and Co-CFO Olivia Vuotto’s duty is to oversee the company’s financial situation. “I am responsible for budgeting and employees’ salaries,” she said. “I manage the accounting department of our company.” 

     Tieniber and his students agree that the skills they learn in VE are not limited to the business realm; they feel these skills are highly relevant and transferable in other career paths. When asked if she is taking VE due to an interest in a business career, Vuotto stated, “Right now, I am more interested in pursuing a career in the medical field, but I feel that this class will help me learn real-life skills necessary for any job I will have in the future.”

     VE is an international, non-profit organization that offers several events for students to apply their classroom skills to the real world. Events include both domestic and international online trade shows; in-person trade shows in New York; and online national competitions including an elevator pitch, company branding, business plan, and e-commerce

     These events are highly anticipated by VE students. When asked what she was most excited for in VE this year, Vuotto said, “I’m most excited for trade shows and meeting with other VE students.” Connecting and communicating with other VE students is a huge aspect of Tieniber’s class, so students are eager to work together. 

     VE students hope for a productive year under the leadership of Tieniber and through the teamwork of the entire business staff.