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KNOXVILLE – Twenty-nine high school students from all across Tennessee will be on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus for a weeklong program that allows them to learn about the world of business and potential business careers.

This is the fourth year for Business Education for Talented Students (BETS), a program that allows students from communities underrepresented in the business world to explore business career opportunities. Over the past four years, eighty-nine high school students have participated in this program which is no cost to them.

The students are attending presentations by UT Knoxville faculty members and business experts to learn about the various business majors offered in UT Knoxville’s College of Business Administration, including accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resource management, public administration, enterprise management, logistics, and statistics.

The students also will attend presentations on topics such as dressing for success, office etiquette, funding a college education, personal finance, and enhanced writing skills. They will engage in team-building activities, such as a ropes course, and take field trips to accounting firm Dixon Hughes, Alcoa, PepsiCo, and the Knoxville Mayor’s office.

The week will conclude with the “Marketplace” competition, a team-based, business-simulation game that allows the students to “run” a company as business professionals.

“We view the BETS program as a perfect opportunity to introduce high school students to all of what our college has to offer and allow them to get a sneak peak of what college life is like,” said Tyvi Small, the college’s coordinator of diversity initiatives. “In fact, many of the students end up enrolling here.”

This year’s participants are rising seniors with an average GPA of 3.74 (out of 4.0) who were nominated by counselors or community members. All twenty-nine attendees are from Tennessee, representing seventeen high schools and nine cities.

Story and photo opportunities during BETS are as follows:

Tuesday, June 14

Noon – 1:30 p.m. — Meeting at Knoxville Mayor’s office and Russ Jensen, director of the 311 call center, City County Building.

Wednesday, June 15

11:30 a.m. – noon — Alcoa corporate office visit, 900 Gay Street.

Thursday, June 16

11-11:30 a.m. — “Marketing the Vols,” Skybox Commons, UT campus.

Friday, June 17

Noon – 1:30 p.m. — PepsiCo plant tour, 3501 Middlebrook Pike.

Saturday, June 18

10:30 a.m. – noon — MarketPlace game presentations, 203 Haslam Business Building.

Funding for the 2011 BETS program is provided by the PepsiCo Foundation as part of its $350,000 five-year grant to the college’s diversity efforts.

For more information about the UT Knoxville College of Business Administration, visit

C O N T A C T :

Cindy Raines (865-974-4359,