My First Experience as a JA Business Week Company Advisor

James Johnson and his JA Business Week company
James Johnson and his JA Business Week company

Each summer for the last several years I have volunteered for our Junior Achievement Business Week program here in Denver. In years past, I have only joined a few sessions throughout the week, usually serving as an outside voice from the community and helping with a few seminars. This year, however, I joined for the entire week serving as a Company Advisor to an awesome group of a ten high school students from all over the Denver metro area and beyond. As this was my first year serving the program in this capacity, they also gave me a group of students joining the program for the first time.

While the week started out bumpy, we quickly became an effective team and developed our OtterBox case project. Starting Sunday afternoon and lasting through Friday afternoon, we spent most of our days together as a team, me serving as a teacher, facilitator, sounding board, and mentor along the way. I learned a lot from the kids as well and I was impressed by their passion and dedication toward our project.

This year, first year attendees were tasked with designing an OtterBox case that appeals to the teenage market. Our team created the “Sportter,” a case made from a tough outer shell with the same texture and material of sports equipment and the option to get the phone in team colors. So you could have a cell phone case that has the same look and feel of a football, baseball, basketball, or soccer ball, in the colors of your favorite high school, college, or professional team. While we all felt our case was the surefire winner, unfortunately we didn’t take the top prize. But despite the loss, I feel like the kids learned a great deal not only about business, but themselves and one another, and I definitely look forward to seeing the returning students next year and another chance to make a winning project!

James Johnson
Sales Support Specialist III
Wholesale Prime Plus
U.S. Bank Home Mortgage