Apple Valley Business Makes a STATEment


John Christiansen

Apple Valley’s strong and growing DECA chapter at districts.

Blazers, blazers, and more blazers. Although not all business professionals can be seen rocking this wardrobe must-have, there is one defining characteristic all business professionals do have: they are prepared for the future.

While not professionals quite yet, Apple Valley’s business program features many young individuals ready to take a role in the business world. With the amount of classes to take, strong resources within the department, and a growing DECA chapter, Apple Valley Business is as important and useful for students as ever before. Whether you want to pursue a medical, STEM or business career, you will be encountered with the information that these classes teach you.

When I receive my first paycheck, and see the deductions, where does my money go? How do I file my taxes? How do I start planning for retirement? These are all questions answered in Apple Valley’s Personal Money Management series. Focusing on a different core topic each trimester, Careers, Investing or Consumer Education, these courses are essential for making informed financial decisions in your future. Being smart with your money goes a long way. With activities including mock interviews, stock market games, and résumé and cover letter editing, these students are ready for the tough decisions they will make in the near future.

Senior Jennifer Mozer notes: “Personal Money Management gives you insight into real life experiences that you cannot always find in other classes around Apple Valley High School.”

Even beyond the applicability of the content that Mozer appreciates, this course features guest speakers from actual business professionals to add to the real-life experiences. This year’s students have so far seen guest speakers on the importance of goal setting and the importance of saving money at a young age.

How do I format my paper? How can I get my homework done more efficiently? Keyboarding 1, 2, and 3 will save you so much time in high school and beyond. Being able to type with five fingers — and getting away from the dreadful index finger pecking — is an often overlooked skill to have. Being able to type faster and knowing how to correctly format papers are applicable in any class you take.

Senior Elise Jensen has seen growth in her typing skills after taking the course. 

I didn’t know how to type the right way before; it took me a long time to write papers. Now, I can type 50 words per minute and I use this skill everyday for my job and school.”

— Elise Jensen

Why do I hear the same advertisement on the radio everyday? Who pays for the ads? How were my favorite products designed? Marketing A, B and C are all about purchasing and selling products. Your Iphone, laptop, Ipad and Beats all started out as an idea that was then transformed into an advertising campaign. These courses show you the strategy that companies have when selling you your most beloved items. Marketing A could also count as your art requirement for graduation from Apple Valley High School.

Sophomore Tia Ahmed appreciates the reality of this course. “Business classes such as marketing have given me insight on what real world jobs are like.”

Is my company making money? How are we doing this year compared to last year? How many products do we still need to sell? Accounting teaches you how businesses make decisions, how to analyze a business’s financial condition and simply, is the company going to last! If you are thinking about studying business in your future, accounting is a must-take. The majority, if not all, business programs after high school will include accounting classes. Get a leg up and go into these classes with prior knowledge!

“Everybody is part of the accounting process. It is highly recommended to take this course if you are thinking of business as a career. It is the backbone of business and taking this course gives you an incredible leg up on students who have little to no knowledge on the accounting process,” said AVHS business teacher John Christiansen.

Sarah Crippes
Ice cream that students in AVHS marketing developed an advertising campaign for.

But the learning outside of the classroom is just as important. Just this January, 30 students attended a business conference at the Rosemount Community Center featuring professionals from companies including Best Buy, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise and even a marketer from the Minnesota Vikings. Students had the opportunity to ask questions in small group settings about job duties, the process to get in certain positions and even the personal stories of these individuals on how they knew what they wanted to do. AVHS students even walked away with some cool prizes too. Countless Best Buy gift cards, Bluetooth speakers, Beats headphones and even a drone were brought home on the bus from the field trip.

Another opportunity to have business exposure outside of the classroom is DECA. The Apple Valley DECA chapter is in its second year back, and it is doing better than ever. The AVHS 2016-17 chapter had 26 members, and more than 12 members are slated to compete at the State Career Development Conference. With nearly half of the chapter advancing to state after qualifying at districts, the future is undoubtedly bright for the chapter. Students can compete in events from mock business role plays, developing a cohesive advertising campaign, writing a research paper on a business or even mock interviews.

John Christiansen
Senior Isaiah Ewald after a successful day at DECA districts.

At districts on January 6th, AVHS DECA saw great success in the advanced interview with two champions, a top 3 finish in a fashion merchandising role play, a top 3 finish in advertising campaign and finalists in team role plays, individual role plays, fashion promotion plan and international business plan. They are looking forward to continue this success at state in March.

Olivia Feilen, a senior at AVHS and active DECA member, enjoys the personal aspect within the program. “Not only is DECA a great way to meet new people, but it also prepares you for many career opportunities ahead. I would highly recommend this program to all students!”

So with all of these opportunities to learn life skills here at AVHS, let’s get down to business — and buy a blazer.