The “Company Program”

Exciting New Business Opportunity for BHS Students!

BHS Omnistone Shareholders Earn 370%


For three years BHS has had a team of students compete in Junior Achievement’s “Company Program.”  This year’s competition took place Friday, April 17, at Robert Morris University.  Company officers presented their “company” at a trade show then gave a formal presentation to a panel of judges.  At the same time company “employees” competed in a series of other career related events.  BHS had winners in every event!

JA MixerThe morning started with a mixer where students had the opportunity to meet with JA volunteers.  These business professionals were from Robert Morris University, Discover Financial, Allstate, ITW, Vibes, Microsoft, and Jones Lange LaSalle. At this time, students were also being “judged” on their business professionalism—including their dress and behavior.  George Baldassano won first place for “Best Professionally Dressed Male.”

The second event was “Speed Interviewing” judged by volunteers from Jones Lange LaSalle.  Students participated in a fast-paced, high pressure elimination style interviewing tournament. Barrington High School swept this competition.  Sanjit Narendra won first place, Michael Morasca was the runner-up, and Armand Sarkisian was in the top ten.

The next event was “Thinking on Your Feet,” judged by volunteers from Allstate.  Students were given a series of business ethics and situational management questions.  Winners of this competition were, again, from Barrington High School.  Armand Sarkisian took first place, and Michael Morasca was the runner-up.  Yes, that’s two wins for Armand and Michael!

After lunch, students participated in the “Career Success” team competition.  Two members of the winning team were BHS—Anna Colagrossi and Abdul Bagasra.

Our officers—Blake Kotel, Ali Elganzouri, Sikandar Kazi, Gus Goetze, and Maddie DuBois —had the toughest competition of all. They had only two months to create, run, and liquidate a company.  This involved leading the rest of the BHS JA Company employees to decide what they were going to produce, have them actually produce it, then sell as much as possible.  The officers were responsible to obtain start-up capital; launch a marketing campaign; and keep records of materials, sales, and employee participation.  They also joined the rest of the employees to produce and sell.

The students decided to name their company Omnistone Home Accents and to produce coasters and trivets.  For start-up capital, they sought donations from local businesses and sold shares of stock. They partnered with a local tile distributer for materials then got to work. Their shareholders will be happy to receive a 370% return on their investment. 

JA BoothOmnistone officers did an amazing job at their booth and presentation.  They worked long hours to prepare. Although BHS didn’t take first place in this highly competitive event, we did have two “Officer of the Year” winners.  Gus Goetze was the Vice President of Production Officer of the Year, and Ali Elganzouri was the Vice President of Finance Officer of the Year.

A huge thank you goes to Peter Truschke, VP of Suburban Operations, Junior Achievement of Chicago, for organizing this event and to their sponsor, Discover, for providing cash prizes to the students.  We’re also grateful to Rohan Trivedi, our JA mentor from Pepsico.  Rohan met with the students every Saturday at the Barrington Area Library to guide them through their decisions. Thanks also go to the Barrington Area Library for providing a meeting place and to our sponsors:  Encore, Joyce’s Driving School, and BHS Student Council.



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