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BUSINESS SENSE Valentina Delgado Muller, a senior at Incarnate Word, took an entrepreneurship course at school.
Last semester, I completed one of Incarnate Word Academy’s most popular courses, called “Leading with Business” – a collaboration between IWA’s Young Leaders Program and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. This class teaches business principles with the added challenge of turning classroom lessons into real-life experiences. Over the course of the semester, my classmates and I conceived, created, and ran a small business. The end goal? Earn a profit and donate 100 percent of the profits to a nonprofit of the class’ choice.
After we returned from our unexpected week off from school due to Hurricane Harvey, we got down to business. Hurricane Harvey demonstrated how Houston is a hard-working, strong and unified city. When disaster struck, the one thing Houston did was stick together. We wanted our business to be inspired by those same themes of community and hard work. We came up with the mission of “sticking together” and married that with a product we knew our classmates would love - decorative stickers for our iPad cases. We designed unique stickers that related to Houston, our school and even grade classifications to keep our fellow classmates interested in purchasing more than one sticker.
My classmates and I held all of the leadership roles in the business. We spent class time working in our “departments” of Marketing, Sales, Design, Operations, Human Resources and Finances. We put our classroom plans into action by selling stickers before classes on weekdays, and met after school to count our sales and cash earned.
We spent the final part of the semester deciding where to donate the more than $1,200 in profits. After considering our options, we decided on Candlelighters, a Houston organization that provides support to families of children with cancer. One of our classmates is a cancer survivor and returned to school last semester. At IWA we pride ourselves on the strength of sisterhood, and we were really excited to show our classmate that we would “stick” with her in good times and in bad.
One last thing. Wondering what our company was called? Sister Sticks!
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