Floyd Central class wins Amazing Global Marketplace Competition PDF Print E-mail

By Bonnie Prindle
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International trading. Foreign monetary conversions. Tense contract negotiations. For most high school students, these are all unfamiliar concepts, but for the students in Sandra Curry’s Finance Services class at Floyd Central High School, they’re just part of a normal day.

 

Curry’s class spent the last school year participating in Amazing Global Marketplace, an international business-focused program that prepares students to become actively involved in the global marketplace.

The program began in October, when students from Curry’s class were paired with Zoeller Pump Company, an international company headquartered in Louisville.

The students then visited Zoeller headquarters, where they took a factory tour and got to work learning the ins and outs of the business.

“They basically became Zoeller employees,” said Curry. “They had to know everything about the business.”

Throughout the year, the students competed with other schools in various challenges related to their respective mentor companies, and they earned points on their performance in those challenges. All of their hard work culminated in a final challenge at Bellarmine University in April, where they were put to the test with a business scenario.

Their scenario was this: Zoeller Pump Company had received an order of 400 pumps from China, and to fill that order, the students needed to purchase a specific part from Mexico. The simulation was realistic, requiring the students to meet with a lawyer, go through “customs,” and even hire a translator when they arrived in “Mexico.” They negotiated the contract with Mexico easily, but around lunch time something went wrong.

The parts they received from Mexico were faulty, and they had to go to China to re-negotiate their contract.

“Personally I was freaking out, because I knew they were going to throw odd balls at us,” said Peter Lonnemann, a senior in the class. Lonnemann was elected by the class to act as CEO of the company, so it was up to him to settle the terms of the contract. “You don’t know what’s gonna go on in the meeting, and China threw everything that I was afraid they would.”

After a tense 30 minute meeting, the students emerged with the newly negotiated contract. By the end of the day, they found out that they had won first place.

“It felt good,” said junior Gabe Shireman of their win. “It showed that all of our hard work paid off, all the time we put in through the year. This was our first year entering, so we knew we had something to prove.”

Both of the seniors in Curry’s class, Peter Lonnemann and James Carl Brown, plan to pursue financial or accounting degrees in college next year, and all the students felt that the program gave them an invaluable experience.

“It was more like real-life application,” said Shireman. “You can go into a classroom and you can learn something day in and day out, but taking this class showed me that the stuff I’m learning in accounting is really going to help me in the future.”