Each year Wasatch Academy students attend Brigham Young University’s (BYU) High School Business Language Competition (HBLSC) eager to apply their business and Spanish skills outside their school environment, develop their presentation abilities, and use their creativity–all while developing a business plan.
Students are given a product, generally from a recent start-up business, for which they must create a marketing strategy to position the product within the Hispanic community of Utah. Students are given only three weeks to research the product, learn about the Utah Hispanic market, and develop a business plan to market the product effectively. This year’s product was Thread Wallets, a slim, stylish alternative wallet created in 2014 by Colby Bauer.
Enrique Roces and Lalo Martinez represented Wasatch Academy at the competition under the supervision of economics teacher Beth Thompson and Spanish teacher Scott Butler. Roces and Martinez presented their business plan and market strategy in Spanish to two separate panels of judges. Although the team was meant to be a trio, a last-minute conflict left Roces and Martinez revising their entire presentation the day of the competition on their way from Mt. Pleasant to Provo.
The last-minute change did not hinder Roces and Martinez from putting their best foot forward to take the 3rd place prize. “It was very inspiring to watch them work hard for this competition,” stated Butler.
Having coordinated this competition for the last three years, Thompson and Butler say students must possess the self-discipline to prepare for the competition on their own. Having never competed in a competition of this caliber, 2017 competitor Christian Martinez commented, ” I had to research and learn a ton about business. But it was totally worth it. That experience has been the most useful and real-world thing I did during all of my high school years.”
Thompson and Butler are looking forward to supporting many students in the future as they learn the world of business. Butler states, “The best part of this is that when interviewing for colleges or future jobs, a student can share about their hours of research, what it is like to be a member of a team, and how they have presented a business plan, etc. All of this above and beyond the classroom done on their own time.”