WEIRTON - More than 100 area high school juniors got a peek into the business world Wednesday thanks to an annual program sponsored by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce.
The High School Business Symposium made its return to the Serbian-American Cultural Center, with approximately 120 students representing eight area high schools.
Students took part in a variety of projects throughout the day, with the goal of learning about budgeting, marketing, product development and applying for a job.
PROJECT WORK — Students participating in Wednesday’s High School Business Symposium work on a project as part of the day’s activities. The event, sponsored by the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, provided discussions on budgeting, marketing and job interview skills before asking students to develop, build and market a product. -- Craig Howell
Among the day's activities was a sketch demonstrating three job interviews, including tips on how to be successful in such an endeavor.
Vince Azzarello, senior director of human resources at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, discussed the importance of research and preparation, a job applicant's appearance and conduct.
"It's sometimes those little things that make the difference," he said, encouraging the students to ask their own questions about the job and the business. "You're there interviewing the company just as I'm interviewing you for the job."
Azzarello also cautioned the students about their use of social media, explaining many companies search those sites as part of background checks on job applicants.
"The things you do are on your record permanently," Azzarello said.
A discussion of marketing techniques was provided by Jim Emmerling, owner of EM-Media, who encouraged the students to read and learn as much as they can about as many subjects.
"What we do deals with everything in life," Emmerling said. "You have to be as sharp as you can be in today's world."
Emmerling brought up a variety of marketing techniques, from newspapers, radio and television, to social media, to basic word of mouth.
Carole Scheerbaum, of the West Virginia University Extension Office in Hancock County, discussed the importance of establishing a budget, assigning different types of jobs to the students and guiding them in prioritizing their expenses.
The day culminated with the demonstration of the students' product as part of a hands-on exercise.
Students were from Brooke, Oak Glen, Weir and Weirton Madonna high schools in West Virginia, Steubenville, Catholic Central and Indian Creek in Ohio, and Burgettstown in Pennsylvania.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)