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OHS students gain hands-on biz experience

OHS seniors Curtis Kocher (left) and Dylan Smith wait on customers at Funky Monkey Toys as part of a job-shadowing experience for their Marketing Concepts class. Watching them is toy store owner Tom Jones. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
December 15, 2010 - When it comes to the world of business, sitting in a classroom learning a bunch of theories can come in handy, but it doesn't compare to the value of gaining some hands-on experience in the real world.

Marketing students from Oxford High School got the opportunity to do just that when they did some job-shadowing at Funky Monkey Toys in downtown Oxford.

Last week, two marketing students visited the store each day and spent an hour learning and experiencing what it's like to own and operate a small business.

"They've been great," said Tom Jones, owner of Funky Monkey Toys. "They've come prepared with questions and have been very enthusiastic."

As part of their job-shadowing, students learned how to work the cash register by waiting on actual customers.

When inventory arrived, the students learned how to process the packages, input the items into the store's computer, price the toys and place them on the shelves.

"I wanted it to be interactive instead of just me lecturing," Jones said.

He also explained to students the marketing strategy behind why his store's merchandise is arranged the way it is and how his play area for kids helps promote business.

Jones is certainly no stranger to the high school's DECA Club, a group for students interested in marketing and business. That's why he agreed to host the job-shadowing.

"I was very familiar with the program. I was in the club in high school," he said. "There were some local businesses that helped me out at the time and actually gave me a job when I was 16. So, I thought I'd repay the favor."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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