OAKHURST – ROP Small Business Management is a new class at Yosemite High School this year, and a unique one at that.
“This class is all about giving juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore different careers and to experience what it is to work in a Small Business environment,” says Rusty Oetinger, the teacher of the class. ROP Small Business Management offers students a curriculum in and out of the classroom, allowing them to take up internships with local small businesses.
The students, Derrick Azevedo, Sam Devito, Jamie Longmore, Jessica Noonkester and Abdiel Solis, spend their sixth and seventh periods each Thursday and Friday at various businesses, learning what it takes to work and run a business.
Many local businesses are participating in the program, including Branches Books, Gift Works, McCauley Insurance, McGoldrick & McGoldrick Attorneys, Patrice Jensen Architect, Pacific Pectin, Andrew Pence and the Chamber of Commerce, Simple to Superb, Solstice Gallery, and Sierra News Online. The class’s internships are all funded by the Regional Occupational Program.
“The class benefits students, because they get the opportunity to intern in environments they wouldn’t normally have opportunities to work. By interning, students get to have experiences they can put on resumes. They get the valuable experience and training that employers want them to have with no cost to the employer. If they do a good job, the student may be able to transition into a paid position without going through the interview process,” Oetinger explains.
The class currently only has five students, but Oetinger believes more will join in the future.
“Once we have a full year of classwork and internships behind us, there will be many students wanting to take this class. The students that leave this class will have better real life resumes than our top students at Yosemite. How many IB and AP students can say that they interned in an attorney’s office? Not many.”
The students will continue their internships throughout the rest of the year, each student interning with at least two different businesses, giving them more experience. Oetinger is confident in his students, saying that they are “quality individuals who are laying the groundwork for the future success of this program.”
Jamie Longmore is YHS a senior in the ROP Small Business Management Program and an Intern for Sierra News Online.