Lycoming hosts immersive business program for high school students

Lycoming College will welcome more than 1500 high school students to campus for the 40th annual Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW). The College will host four sessions now through Aug. 4.

This year, Lycoming is adding to the PFEW itinerary: In addition to an informational session about the application process led by the admissions team each year, Susan Ross, director of the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences (CEAE), will lead a session concerning internship and study abroad opportunities; and Marshall D. Welch III, the Sloter Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, will present on coupling a business education with an entrepreneurship minor at Lycoming. Although the College has hosted PFEW for nearly 30 years, this is the first year the CEAE and the entrepreneurship program will contribute programming for PFEW participants.

Since 1979, the PFEW program has enlightened rising high school seniors on the free enterprise system through a variety of business simulations and workshops with corporate professionals, all while experiencing life on a college campus. Throughout the course of a week, students are split into groups and given a company to design from the ground up. Each group elects a CEO, learns the complexities of business management, and prepares a presentation on advertising and stocks for their respective companies.

“PFEW is a unique opportunity for students to learn about business and marketing from real leaders in the field, and to put that knowledge to work, while at the same time giving them the opportunity to experience college life for a week,” Mike Konopski, vice president for enrollment management, explained.

Between company-strategizing meetings, students cultivate a network of business professionals who visit as guest speakers and workshop leaders. Each PFEW session hosts a keynote speaker as well as a variety of other lecturers. Keynote speakers for this year include: Nick N. Scott, Jr., vice president of Scott Enterprises; Evan S. Frazier, senior vice president of community affairs at Highmark Health; Ken Baker, CEO and owner of NewAge Industries, Inc.; and Henry M. Justi, chairman/CEO of Esschem, Inc.

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