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Thirty-two high school students from the Southeast will learn about office etiquette, personal finance, the business world, and potential careers at a UT summer camp that begins Thursday.

The Business Education for Talented Students (BETS) program, which runs through June 22, allows students from diverse communities to explore career and educational opportunities in the world of business. The program, which is free to students, is in its sixth year.

Students will take part in team-building activities such as a ropes course and take field trips to Alcoa, PepsiCo, PetSafe, the Knoxville mayor’s office, and accounting firm Dixon Hughes in Asheville.

While on campus, the students, from Tennessee and Georgia, will hear from faculty members and business experts. They will learn about various majors offered in UT’s College of Business Administration, including accounting, finance, marketing, economics, human resource management, public administration, enterprise management, supply chain management, and business analytics.

Students will also work on their writing and learn more about options available to fund their education.

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.

More than 150 high school students from four states have participated in the program. Of the 118 students who have already completed the program, about fifty-nine students are now or will be attending UT.

The program is a great recruiting tool, said Tyvi Small, the business college’s coordinator of diversity initiatives. It also gives high school students the opportunity to see what programs the College of Business Administration has to offer and get a sneak peek at college life.

This year’s participants are rising seniors with at least a 3.76 grade point average who were nominated by counselors or community members. The thirty-two students represent twenty-four high schools and fourteen cities.

Funding for the 2013 BETS program is provided by the PepsiCo Foundation as part of its $350,000 five-year grant to the college’s diversity efforts.

The week’s events include:

  • Friday, June 14

2:00 to 4:00 p.m.—Tour of Radio Systems/PetSafe, 10427 Electric Ave.

  • Tuesday, June 18

Noon to 1:20 p.m.—Meeting at Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero’s office and Russ Jensen, director of the 311 call center, City County Building

  • Thursday, June 20

12:30 to 1:50 p.m.—Alcoa Energy and Metals Trading Floor, 900 Gay St.

  • Saturday, June 22

10:30 a.m. to noon—Marketplace competition presentations, 203 Haslam Business Building.


Cindy Raines (865-974-4359,

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,