Blair’s Entrepreneurship Academy provides some of the best learning opportunities in the nation
“If you have an open space in your schedule, or even if you don’t have an open space in your schedule, I would advise changing one of your classes to entrepreneurship,” junior Karandeep Singh says. Singh is advocating for Blair’s Entrepreneurship Academy, one of the 5 academies at Blair.
The entrepreneurship program gives students who are interested in business a chance to prepare for college, offering classes in entrepreneurship, marketing and accounting. Students take three business-related courses, complete a culminating capstone and graduate the program with an academy certificate and tassel.
The entrepreneurship academy is about more than just mundane textbook work; elective classes are structured around developing an actual business. Students take the entrepreneurship class first, spending the year creating a business plan which is presented to a panel of judges at the end of the year. The judges will pick two proposals to go onto the city, state and national level with the winner receiving a grant for their business idea.
The second tier is the marketing class where students learn how to expand their business beyond the local area. The third and final accounting elective teaches students budgeting and finances.
In senior year, students complete a capstone project. Capstones may consist of taking a college business class, participating in a competition or interning at a company. For all their dedication and hard work, students receive an academy certificate and tassel during graduation.
Blair’s entrepreneurship academy is one of the most successful high school business programs in the nation and has received many international titles. At the head of the success is lead teacher Kevin Murley. Murley completed graduate school at Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, and he has been teaching as the head teacher of the entrepreneurship academy at Blair for over 15 years. In conjunction with teaching at Blair, over the summer, Murley teaches finance seminars at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Throughout his years as head teacher of the entrepreneurship academy, Murley has sent numerous students to New York City as finalists for the NFTE business plan competition. He has also had students win international investing competitions through the University of Pennsylvania.
Murley says that his prior experience working at marketing and international business firms is what sets his students apart from others on the national scale. “I’m an unusual teacher in that I have real business experience, not just educational experience,” Murley says.
Murley not only prepares his students for college, but also gives them substantial opportunities and internships in high school. Through the academy program, Murley helps young entrepreneurs launch their own businesses, manage their personal life & finances and intern at a variety of companies.
Inside the classroom, Murley organizes field trips for job shadowings at renowned companies. One of the most notable examples is the annual trip to the test kitchens of HMSHost in Bethesda where students present proposals to the company and see how the kitchens run.
Singh has found his passion and career path through the entrepreneurship academy. Singh has a business in retail arbitrage: he buys shoes for retail prices, waits for them to go out of stock and sells the shoes for a higher mark-up price. “Before the entrepreneurship class, I was really unorganized, and I only sold one pair every two weeks. Right now, I’m selling two pairs every two days, and sometimes, there will be a week where I get a return of $1200 profit,” Singh says.
Singh accredits his rise in success to Murley and the classes the entrepreneurship academy offers, “there’s a mentality that you are always putting information in your head, even if you are not studying for it. This class will teach you skills that no other class can teach you. Even though it is made for business, it will teach you how to manage your own money and value everything in your life,” Singh concludes.
At the end of the day, Murley emphasizes that business is for everyone and seen everywhere, “business is where you bring everything you learn in other classes together in a real world application that impacts everything that is going on around you in the world today. If business doesn’t evolve, people don’t have jobs. Business is interconnected with all fields: science, psychology, english, climate change, everything,” Murley states.
Whether you are interested in stocks or the art of selling shoes, the entrepreneurship academy will not only teach you how to make money. The skills you learn will stay with you for your entire lifetime.
Read more about Mr. Kevin Murley here.
Joy Xu. Hi! My name is Joy, and I'm a junior staff writer. Aside from writing articles, I enjoy playing violin for pit orchestra and making desserts for my friends and family. During the school year, I run Blair's DECA club, and I participate in many business-related … More »