Virtual Enterprise qualifies for Top 200 nationally


Image via Joy Chen

Despite the struggle of learning and competing in a virtual setting, IHS’ Virtual Enterprise (VE) has been breaking records.

For the first time in four years, VE qualified for the Top 200 nationally, for meeting several benchmarks in setting up the virtual business, including concept, company structure, name, website, payroll, accounting, bank accounts, loan applications and  employee paying personal bills. They also attended a National Elevator Pitch Contest, in which they presented a company sales pitch that is presented in less that 60 seconds, similar to the show “Shark Tank”, in which they were rated in the top 15% nationally.

“It was very surprising, yet validating, when we placed in the Top 200,” senior and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joy Chen said. “Despite the challenges of competing virtually, these competitions were a great testament to how far we have come this year.”

VE is an operating virtual business, where everything runs like a real-world business. Each of the departments, such as Finance, IT/Design, Sales & Marketing and Human Resources, are responsible for completing tasks in their areas, which is required for the company to be successful. Students interview for management and staff positions, create the business concept, name, logo, product or service line, create sales and attend trade shows with other schools.  

“VE teaches real-world concepts and skills that can be utilized in the real-world,” VE Advisor Gary Russell said. “Students learn how to work in a department team and strive to create a synergistic company environment, overcome obstacles, adapt to setbacks, problem solve, meet deadlines that affect the entire company, salesmanship, and even personal finance.”

The skills learned in VE translate into almost all career fields.  Students thinking about majoring in business gain some insights into business operations and can show colleges that you have knowledge in a foundation of business concepts on their transcripts. 

With the many departments, students get to learn how to write reports, create virtual designs, and through the class, students learn a lot about different interactions they’ll have in the future,” senior and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Lucy Shen said. Additionally, it’s a really fun class and we are always encouraging each other to find creative solutions to problems. I’ve learned so many life skills from this class and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship.”

In a normal year,  VE travels to a trade show that usually has around 50-80 actual booths that people can walk up, just like a real-world trade show. Though the in-person experience is ideal, the virtual format has allowed the program to be involved in trades shows all around the country.  

“VE has helped me connect with a lot more people that I even imagined, especially with the trade shows allowing me to interact with those even from the east coast,” Shen said. “It has also helped me gain a lot of confidence in my own abilities and my social skills have increased dramatically ever since I’ve joined.