My name is Anish Chandak and I will be a senior this fall at the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury, MN.
I attended Minnesota Business Venture (MBV) as a student in the summer of 2011. Going into camp, I did not know much about what I was going to experience other than the comments I had heard from a friend who had attended MBV the summer before. Based on her great experience with the program, I decided to join and learn more about the business field. There were not, and still are not, many classes specifically geared towards business education in high school, and so I figured MBV would be a neat opportunity for me to find out if business was something I was interested in. To this day, I consider my decision to attend MBV one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I enjoyed all of the speakers during the week, and I was inspired by each speaker’s story and how he/she had made an impact –however big or small—in his/her community. The small break-out sessions each day thoroughly answered the smaller, more-detailed questions I had on insurance, credit score, business etiquette, interviews, and many other subject areas. The major task for the week, the business plan, allowed me to not only understand Marketing, Supply Chain Operations, and Finance fundamentals and how each complimented the other, but also experience working together in a team to accomplish a difficult task within a very tight schedule.
With all of the learning that was done, I cannot forget to mention how much fun I had during the week. I greatly enjoyed spending time with all of the other students and staff—many of whom I am still in contact with today. Overall, I considered my week at MBV the highlight of my summer that year.
This summer I was approached with the opportunity to be a CEO (counselor) at MBV and I was more than excited with the prospect of going back to camp. The idea of leading a group of students and being able to work directly with a local business professional was something I found very intriguing. During the week, my Resident Business Leader (RBL) was Ben Truong from Ecolab. I had a great time working with him and together we were able to lead our company through many challenges.
As a CEO, I had a different view of MBV and saw the week’s activities from a different perspective. I was in-charge of a group of fourteen students and served as their leader and mentor for the week. One of the challenges I had as a CEO was finding the balance between offering guidance and giving away the answer to the students’ questions. I had participated in the program before and therefore had experience in all of the activities, but my duty was to assist the company in every way possible while also letting them figure certain things out by themselves. Additionally as a CEO, I was able to practice open communication to address any conflicts, deadlines, and rules within the company. I am very glad I was given the chance to be a CEO as I gained much from the experience and, at the same time, was able to help ensure that the students had a positive experience as well.
I could not have been happier with my experience with MBV over the years. I believe I have become a stronger individual, gained helpful insight into my career path, and learned about the field of business in ways I could not have in a classroom setting—all while making new friends and having a ton of fun. However, I believe the most valuable part of MBV for me came after the camp ended. Since attending MBV in 2011, I have been met with countless opportunities to further explore the business world including: starting an internship with BestPrep, talking with distinguished college professors, discussing life experiences with Harvard University alums, touring Ecolab and meeting with employees in the Finance and Operations sectors, touring the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and speaking on behalf of BestPrep at BestPrep’s Board of Directors meeting and Wealth Enhancement Group’s Client Appreciation Event. As I graduate from high school, begin college, and enter the work force in the coming years, I will always be thankful for Minnesota Business Venture and all that it has done for me.