Kern High students win cash prize for their marketing plan | News

Months of strategy, planning and hard work paid off for around two dozen career technical education students on Tuesday, as they pitched business plans they had been developing since September for a chance to win a $1,000 prize.

The marketing competition hosted by the Kern High School District’s CTE program, in partnership with the Kern Economic Development Foundation, gave students work experience, an opportunity to learn from KEDF business leaders, and a chance to see their work put into action.

“KEDF came and worked with our students on their task…designing a logo, naming and marketing campaign for a paid internship initiative that KEDF will be launching this summer,” said Brian Miller, director of the Career Technical Education Center and the district’s Regional Occupation Center, discussing the semester-long training behind Tuesday’s presentation.

“It’s their ‘Shark Tank,'” he said, before the students presented their efforts to the judges, their peers and several parents in the audience at the district’s CTE center.

The project that won the top prize is the work of Darlene Corral, Alejandra Reyes and Jimena Rodriguez, who came up with the name Kern Intern Connections, which was placed above the words “KIC Starting Careers” on the logo they have created in the fall.

“So it was very difficult at first, because it was like something that we learned, but we actually didn’t get our hands on the experience,” Rodriguez said, talking about the back and forth that his group had had with instructor Walter Suazo and the support of KEDC Executive Director Richard Chapman helped them.

“A lot of the process was a great learning experience for me, because we had never done this before, or at least I hadn’t – but this class really got us into it,” said Corral.

Rodriguez added: “We were in charge, so it was up to us whether the final draft was going to be good or bad. And our next project is going to be even better and we are going to show even more confidence and now we are going to be better prepared.

As well as seeing his students excel in presentations that made it very difficult for the judges to pick a winner – at one point Suazo came out and announced that they had asked for more time to deliberate – the class also heard Rene Reyes, who was so successful in the project last year, he was hired as a paid intern for KEDF.

“I think the biggest benefit is the real-world experience,” Suazo said, citing Rene Reyes as an example of how the program is working as expected after the class worked with Concentric Power last year. “(Reyes) had this experience where, you were able to pitch, find all the material, and now there’s an opportunity that’s opened up for an internship for him through this program. So it’s that kind of circle whole.

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