PFEW: A student business camp like no other

Emme Oliver, Editor

Neshaminy juniors like Regina Schroeder have a lot on their plate. The thought of college, careers, and futures are always cultivating around in their minds. But as an ambassador for PFEW (Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week) Regina is certain that she’s on the right path to success. PFEW is a summer program at Lycoming College that allows students to immerse themselves in the business, marketing, finance, and management fields. Over the course of 6 days, students are put into groups and are asked to develop a product, market it, discuss analytics and stocks, and make a skit and commercial for the product. Students are also given the opportunity to hear from experienced workers that utilize the skills that are taught at the camp in their everyday lives. These speakers talked about personal experiences to demonstrate real scenarios that happen when working in business.  “Throughout the week you learn about all the aspects of business. I was put on the marketing team in the jewelry department group. We learned a lot about marketing”. Once groups were selected, the students first job was to build their company by electing a CEO, vice presidents and all the positions that come with running a successful company. “You have to elect your leaderships positions within 24 hours of meeting everyone, so you have to really pay attention to who the natural leaders are.” Students strengths are displayed in multiple activities the camp offers such as “junk night” which Regina describes as “taking things from a literal pile of junk and trying to make a perfectly new product out of it”. Regina’s group came up with the idea for the cleverly named “re-muse” bracelets which are designed to be 100% reusable bracelets that display images of greek muses. “Once the product was decided, we started our marketing campaign right away.” Students are then given an hour to spread the word about their product through marketing and a commercial. “It encouraged everyone to be creative and you get to see how your group handles pressure.” In the end, they pulled it off and the re-muse bracelets were a success. The camp isn’t all work and no play though. Being a summer camp, there is plenty of time to relax, and there’s even a pool party to bring everybody together for a stress-free fun day. There’s no doubt that PFEW has impacted Regina’s life and so many others, “It’s an amazing experience,” Regina says. “Everyone should give it a shot, even if you think you’re not going into business. You never really know what you’re capable of until you try.” As “never give up” is a common message told to PFEW attendees, Regina passes the message onto her fellow juniors and encourages them to try something new.