GMC Hosts Seventh High-School Business Language Competition
PROVO, Utah – Jun 25, 2019 – More than one hundred high school students from around the state of Utah participated in the seventh annual Business Language Competition held by BYU Marriott’s Whitmore Global Management Center (GMC).
“This opportunity for high school students was great,” says Jonathon Wood, managing director for the GMC. “Putting the language you are learning to use in a business setting isn’t something most high school students realize they would enjoy.”
This year’s competition, held in the Tanner Building, added three additional languages and saw double the number of student teams participating compared to the last year’s event. In previous years, the competition only included students participating in Spanish. For this year’s competition, Chinese, French, and Arabic languages were also included.
Thirty-four teams competed and were tasked with learning how to market different types of bags made by Cotopaxi, a local Utah company that sells outdoor adventure goods, to youth in Japan. Students were given background information on the basics of business and research about their target audience, and then were asked to give a final presentation—in their selected language—about how they would market this product.
“The high school teachers talked about what a great experience this was for their students,” says Wood. “My colleagues and I were pleased because we helped these students start thinking about a future in international business.”
Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of Utah Valley residents who understand the four languages. Wood says that the judges enjoyed listening to the students and being able to help them become more confident in their second language. First-place teams received $600, second place $300, and third place $100.
Two teams tied for first place in the Spanish competition; those teams were from Taylorsville and Westlake High schools. First place in the Chinese category went to American Leadership Academy; first place in French went to Tooele High School, and first place in Arabic went to West High School.
“The staff work to put the competition together in a way that even if you don’t win, you walk away with something new and you’ve learned a lot,” says Wood.
The competition was funded through the GMC’s CIBER grant, which is designed to foster an interest in global business among students of all ages. In hosting this competition, Wood says the GMC helps provide students with an opportunity to see that they can do more with their second language than just speak it.
“Events like this help the GMC fulfill its own goal of providing the global education and training necessary to take on the global market,” says Wood.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Caitlyn Larsen