Future marketers: Picayune students learn business skills
Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 2, 2016
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” –– Mohandas Gandhi
The above quote can be found in Anna Turnage’s business and marketing classroom at the Picayune Career and Technology Center.
“I tell my students if you want things to change, you have to be the example,” she said.
When a student attends Turnage’s class, they are learning fundamental life skills that will help them become productive members of their community and valuable employees.
First-year students learn business fundamentals, Turnage said. She teaches them how to write a resume, communicate effectively write a check, make a bank deposit and balance a checkbook. She reviews interview etiquette such as what to wear to an interview and the correct terminology to use during an interview.
There is a snack shop set up inside the classroom where students gain hands-on experience dealing with customers.
“They learn how to count money and restock the shelves,” Turnage said. “What I love about it is that they are learning customer service. All we do in here is applicable learning, they learn a skill and then apply it.”
In the business class, Turnage teaches students the difference between a W-2 and W-4 form and what to look for and avoid when applying for student loans. She also discusses how not to get into credit card debt and explain why they would need one and the best type to get.
“Some of my students didn’t know the difference between a debit and credit card,” she said. “We talk about credit scores and the effects of not paying bills.”
Second-year students are introduced to marketing, Turnage said. They learn about business plans, visual merchandising and distribution. It’s a more in-depth class where students can learn how to become a marketer.
“Every job you have, there is some type of marketing,” she said. “Even if it’s not in the marketing field, you are marketing yourself.”
There are two mannequins placed in Turnage’s classroom and students dress them according to a theme.
During the holidays, her second year students went to a local business and decorated the storefront.
Turnage also sponsors Distributive Education Clubs of America, a student club where members compete in role-play and written events.
“They are learning the skills necessary to work in a real job and also how to be a successful student, employee and contributor to the community,” she said. “The class is very applicable and something all students should take.”
Cameron Ashley, 16, recently landed her first job by utilizing the skills she learned in Turnage’s class.
“I really like vo-tech classes,” Ashley said. “They are laid back and it’s easier to learn because of the activities. During my interview, I remembered that I shouldn’t shake hands first and to always shake with my right hand. I already knew how to fill out the forms and researched the company before I went for the interview, so I knew certain things about it. It might have gone a bit differently if I hadn’t taken this class.”
Annabelle Cantara, 17, said much of her job training was learned during her babysitting job. However, she plans to be a nurse and said many of the skills she is learning now will help her in the future.
She now works at a local restaurant and said her experience working at the class store taught her how to interact with customers who may have an attitude.
“I’m also learning about the different types of health insurance and communication skills,” Cantara said. “This class will have me more prepared for what I’m supposed to be doing.”