Senior Business Students Challenged During Annual Apprentice Project
January 23, 2023
Each January, seniors enrolled in business and economics classes are challenged with the Apprentice Project.
The project, designed by longtime business teacher Mr. Dave Santos ’85, replicates real-life business plan implementation from product design to merchandising.
Ultimately, it becomes a competition between the senior business classes and the senior honors economic class, taught by Santos and Mr. Michael Mazzaccaro. The project has gained a reputation as being one of most anticipated lessons of senior year.
Each class starts its own “company” that needs to develop a new product to be sold to the CBA community. Each company then creates a business plan that is presented to the CBA administration for approval. Within each company, departments such as research and development, marketing, and operations are formed.
“The process of researching, designing, and rolling out the product definitely required more hands-on work than expected,” Kam Coleman ’23 said.
Once approved, the classes market their new products to the community prior to sales beginning. The sales period is a five-day stretch in school during January.
“The hardest part was definitely deciding on the actual product that we were going to be making,” Tyler Buchenberger ’23 said. “Once we figured that out and things got organized, our group did a great job in all aspects of marketing and production. When everyone does their part in their specific branch of the business, it makes everything flow very easily.”
The competition comes into play when the final sales are tallied. The winning company is awarded the highest grade on the project. Of course, there is a charitable component to the project. In the past, groups were able to choose their own charity, but this year, all groups donated proceeds to the De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana. CBA students regularly travel to the Blackfeet School for service immersion trips.
“My group’s collective take away was that it was a competitive, yet entertaining way to approach economics,” Luc Pavlinec ’23 said. “Everyone being part of marketing, sales, and the creation of our product was great team building, and a lot of fun.”
This year, the products included:
- “Colts Country” flag
- “The Academy” winter hats
- “The Academy” logo t-shirts
- “Brother Barstool” T-Shirts