VSB Hosts Summer Business Academy

Collage image of a group of people on a Conference Call

This past summer VSB hosted a virtual Summer Business Academy for high school students in the VIEW (Villanova Initiative for Engaging Women) program. VIEW is a four-year program, run by Villanova’s Center for Access, Success and Achievement, for talented female students from Philadelphia public high schools. Its mission is to prepare students for admission to college and to provide the skills needed to succeed in higher education. Students participate in intense academic enrichment programs and personal and professional development workshops throughout the year.

The two-week Summer Business Academy provided the VIEW students a business overview and introduction to personal finance, stocks, financial markets, and business ethics. Several VSB faculty and staff participated as guest speakers and lecturers. Executives from Wawa® also joined the program and presented the students with a business challenge that required the students to research supply chains, merchandising, gross profit and cost of goods. Students worked in groups and partnered with young alumni mentors who offered guidance and assistance with their analysis and presentations to the Wawa team.

Feedback on the summer program was overwhelmingly positive. Students appreciated learning about running organizations they had never considered before and enjoyed the opportunity to work in groups to develop a business solution for Wawa. “The VSB and Wawa teams were impressed by the quality of the student presentations and the level of professionalism the students brought to the program,” said Cathy Toner, Assistant Dean, Talent and Staff Development, Community and External Outreach.

According to Micaela Fennell, a student mentor and VIEW alumna, “Although not every VIEW girl may be planning a career in business, it’s the exposure and baseline understanding that we find to be most important. All it takes is one teacher, one speaker, or even just one class to spark something amazing for one of our girls.”