On December 15th, 2011 the executive board room of Bain & Company’s Boston office was taken over by a group of sixth grade students from the Edwards Middle School in Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had spent the last three months in my Citizen Schools apprenticeship learning business fundamentals as they helped determine what new, exciting ice cream flavor Ben & Jerry’s should launch nationwide. This was their opportunity to present their findings to Ben & Jerry’s own ‘Board of Directors’ in an authentic business environment.
Ten weeks of preparation had served these students well. They learned that a confident handshake and a smile can make a lasting first impression in the business world. They studied the balance of costs and revenues necessary to achieve a sustainable profit. And, perhaps most importantly, they did their fair share of field research, i.e. taste-testing, at a local Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop. On that afternoon in the boardroom, this group of sixth graders was ready to sell their new flavor.
My heart raced with apprehension as the students took the stage in front of consulting executives. To my delight, they handled their presentation with aplomb, leaving me utterly overwhelmed with pride. The convincing sale of their invented flavor, Peanut Butter & Jerry ice cream, was driven home by the delicious sample batch prepared by Ben & Jerry’s for everyone to try. Who knew an apprenticeship could be so sweet!
Would you like to experience the pride of seeing a team of students that you've worked with for 10 weeks blow the audience away at their WOW!? Check out our What Will You Teach page for apprenticeship ideas and sign up for the opportunity to share your passion with kids!