Last week, teachers Katie Harmon and Sarah Schau led ten of their students to visit AmericasMart Atlanta in Georgia where they learned about wholesale marketing. The idea behind the Feb. 5 trip was for the students to find items to sell in the Colosseum.
“The kids that went to Atlanta had the opportunity to experience a true buying environment,” Harmon said. “It was the apparel week at AmericasMart and what that entails is in their apparel building they bring in temporary exhibits as well as having permanent exhibits open. It’s all of these different lines and brands of clothing, manufacturers that come in and then you walk around and look and see what’s gonna best fit your business.”
Senior Ellie Hansen thinks that the experience was not only beneficial to the Colosseum, but to the students knowledge in the marketing industry as well.
“We went first and foremost to find things for the store, so in the gift and home part we found a few things that we ordered that will be coming soon,” Hansen said. “ And then also just for the learning experience about the distribution process and how buying and wholesale buying works. We learned to read the tags of different items to tell how much the production cost is versus the wholesale cost versus the retail price. We learned about negotiating with different buyers and sellers, and different terminology and phrases and lingo in the industry.”
Harmon believes that this type of hands-on learning is a valuable way for students to learn.
“Hands on learning, kind of that real world experience is the best way for you guys to see what we talk about in the classroom in real time, in real life,” Harmon said. “To be able to go to market they were able to not only make the decision themselves, but they were able to see other business owners going through that process as well, and kind of picking up on why businesses do what they do.”
Hansen feels that this type of learning can inspire a career path for students in the future.
“In marketing you know you learn about the buying process and like the different distribution processes but we actually got to experience it, which was really cool,” Hansen said. “Also [it] exposes us to a career path that we could choose possibly and begin to really experience that industry hands on.”
The business program at Westside provides students with opportunities that students and staff find to be special.