This years’ Virtual Enterprise students revolutionize tutoring

Rachel Silverstein, Staff Writer

Virtual Enterprise International (VEI), the entrepreneurship class that started as a grant from the
Ed. Foundation in 2015, is now an elective offered to students in 10th through 12th grade who are
interested in enhancing their business education by collaborating with other students to create and
launch a company.
When entering the classroom each day, the students in this class transform into business
executives, the teacher turns into only a facilitator or supervisor, and the classroom environment turns
into a real-life office setting. In the classroom are chromebooks, one Mac computer, and a professional
conference table accompanied by comfortable professional chairs.

The class goes on several of field trips throughout the year, and when dressed in business-
professional clothing, they compete with other high schools’ Virtual Enterprise companies at various

trade shows and events. These pose as opportunities to gain exposure to everyday business life and to
learn about the intricacies of the real business world.
Opportunities to receive future business opportunities or even internships are presented at these
field trips as well.
“When I went on my first field trip to LIU Post, I walked around to introduce myself to other
students across Long Island who were representing their business and we traded contact information. In
VEI, I hope to use this contact information to learn and understand how to approach other businesses
and make sales while trying to help my company succeed,” said senior Jared Rothberg.
This year, the Virtual Enterprise class has chosen to start a tutoring business called StudyBuddy.
StudyBuddy developed as students wanted to come up with a solution to an ongoing after-school
education problem: tutoring. These students had a desire to address the complication involved with the
scheduling, expenses, and transportation associated with receiving tutoring help.
“I’m very proud of my students for being creative and working together to establish their VEI
business, StudyBuddy. I believe StudyBuddy is a great virtual business and can also be successful as a
real world company. It benefits both teachers, who are looking to find additional sources of income
through tutoring, as well as students who are seeking new and innovative ways to learn and study
material outside of the classroom,” said Virtual Enterprise teacher Mrs. Stephanie Saraceni.
StudyBuddy employees understand that students don’t have a lot of free time in their schedules.
They go to school, play after-school-sports, and participate in school clubs. When they finally arrive at
home they are swamped with homework and studying. This is where tutors come in: to help students
with the stress of homework and test preparation.
StudyBuddy helps to address the problems involved with tutoring. It is an online service that
offers on-the-spot video chat tutoring. If a student is struggling in a certain academic area, they can look
up the subject and topic on the website, and a list of tutors that are currently online will come up. The

student will then pick a tutor and message them or start a direct video chat.
Instead of committing to a full hour of tutoring and paying a very expensive fixed price, the
student can choose a specific subscription to use, such as paying by the minute. This allows students to
ask one simple homework question if that’s all that is needed, or they can be online for over an hour.
“As the Vice President of StudyBuddy, it was my job to come up with a business plan for the
company. I worked with my some of my peers to create logical price plans. We needed to test what
would be reasonable to charge for tutoring, while still being able to pay tutors and become profitable as a
company. Predicting our sales and testing out different price options really gave me a foundation for
what I would be doing as a Sales Executive in a real business,” said senior Tyler Streim.
In addition to being a benefit for busy students, StudyBuddy also poses as a useful tool for tutors.
After the school day ends, teachers who are also tutors must go house-to-house to offer help for hours
and may not be able to be present at home with their kids. If their spouse works as well, they will then
need to hire a babysitter to watch and feed their children. By using StudyBuddy, teachers can be home
and go online whenever they are available or choose to.
StudyBuddy’s VEI students feel confident about the mission of their company and believe that
instant online tutoring can bring help to students, wherever they are and whenever they need it.
Creating a solution for tutoring, StudyBuddy, was only the first step in the journey that VEI
students will take this year to immerse themselves in a virtual business world. The second step for the
students was to create a resume and a cover letter for the position they desired and interview against
other students to be placed into a specific department within the business. These departments included
Graphics, Communications, Sales, Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources, and Administration.
Virtual Enterprise, the global business simulation, helps to prepare students for what is to come if
they choose to follow through with a business career in the future. Each student mimics what they would
do if they had the job they hold in the real business world and completes numerous portfolio pieces that
are applicable to StudyBuddy.
This class continues to be a great pathway to the world of business and each student in it can
gain great exposure and knowledge of the professional business world.