BestPrep’s Communications and Events Intern, Neha Kappagantula, spoke with Wayzata High School senior, Divya Godithi, who participated in BestPrep’s summer business camp, Minnesota Business Venture (MBV). As a first year MBV attendee, Divya enjoyed her experience at MBV and would recommend this program to all students, even those not interested in business. Divya provided insight into her experience with MBV, as well as her takeaways from the program.
Q: Why did you choose to attend MBV?
A: My junior year of high school I decided that I wanted to study business and major in this field in college. I had no prior experience with anything business related so I wanted to learn more about it, branch out, and talk to more people that were interested in the same field as me. I then heard about the MBV summer camp through a past student and thought it would be the perfect program for me to expand my knowledge about the Business field.
Q: What did you learn from your experience and what was your biggest takeaway?
A: I found the mock interviews to be very helpful. I will need to go on multiple interviews in my future and this process showed me how to be a successful interviewee, and I thought the volunteer interviewer’s feedback was very beneficial for my own growth. Another big takeaway was that I learned a lot about the importance of networking and how to do it effectively. I reached out, talked, and connected with many people; this helped me learn new perspectives and learn more about Business, but also about the real world. After experiencing school, clubs, and majority of our life online for so long, I appreciated learning what work is like in a real life setting; I enjoyed the in-person experience because people are much more open and zoom calls can be awkward and no one talks, but it was really easy to talk to people. I learned how to communicate efficiently and effectively with my peers and superiors.
Q: What product/service did your MBV company innovate? How did your group come up with this idea?
A: Our company came up with a service called “Fresh4U”. This service was a non-profit organization that took donations from various sponsors. Essentially, we ran a food truck that grew healthy and fresh food and drove it to underprivileged communities where we gave the food to individuals who could not attain healthy and fresh food themselves. Our slogan was: “Why go to the grocery store when you can let the grocery store come to you?” We came up with this idea by going through general problems that society faces now and we all agreed upon an idea revolving around the ecosystem and underprivileged communities; we started with this and worked our way up the ladder until we finally came up with “Fresh4U”.
Q: Who was your favorite speaker(s) at MBV?
My favorite speakers were Boz Bostrom and Jesse Ross.
- Boz Bostrom taught me about accounting and made it sound interesting. He gave us good feedback for the finance portion of our business plan. I thought his speech was good. In fact, I connected with him after, and we currently stay in touch. He talked about budgeting which was really helpful; I still use the methods he taught in my everyday life. Before his speech, I had no clue on how to budget, but after, I learned how to save money. This speech has impacted the way I manage my personal funds in my day to day life.
- Jesse Ross: His speech was super impactful because he talked about his life and how he got from Point A to Point B. He interacted with his audience which got us really interested. He took us on a journey of his life and how each person or event he encountered impacted his idea for his business. He had faced hardships but that only motivated him to be better. I found his speech to be very inspirational and memorable.
Q: Would you recommend other students attend? Why? What do you wish more people knew about MBV?
A: Yes, I would definitely recommend other students to attend MBV because of the fun environment, amazing people, and beneficial projects. I made a lot of new friends and connections that I am still in touch with. MBV was a very fun environment to be a part of. It felt like I wasn’t wasting my summer, but it was also fun enough to not feel like school. I enjoyed learning new concepts, listening to speakers, and collaborating with my peers to create a successful business. The camp sounded intimidating at first but as soon as I got there, I knew I had nothing to be worried about because of the welcoming environment and friendly students and staff.
Q: What was your role as a part of your MBV company and what real world applicable skills did you learn?
A: I was a part of the marketing team, and we came up with the slogan and all the promotional activities for our new brand and our non-profit. I learned how to employ marketing strategies in a real world situation. I also learned how each group had to work together; even though I was a part of the marketing team, we still had to connect with the finance team and all the others to have a successful running business. We had to make sure everyone was on the same page. I also learned about communication. I want to be in consulting and communication and collaboration are crucial skills for the job. MBV really helped me gain new perspectives and enhance my skill set.
Q: Who/what were your most impactful relationships?
A: My CEO was really impactful. She was very kind, helpful, and supportive. She helped us with the foundation of our project and helped us tie it all together. This enabled all our ideas to be incorporated into one big entity that led us to being a successful non-profit organization. My marketing team was also super impactful as we worked very closely together to solve problems and create promotional strategies.
Save the date! Minnesota Business Venture 2023 will be held in-person July 9th– 14th at the University of St. Thomas and July 22nd – 27th at St. Thomas University. Learn more here.