NTHS is on the rise

NTHS is on the rise

Alexandria Poh

NTHS takes a tour of NASA’s research center. This past summer, the club worked alongside NASA to make a marketing plan for their newest product, the dosimeter. Photo used with permission of Ashna Ashok.

Just when MVHS thought that DECA and FBLA had already taken over the business stage, in came the National Technological Honor Society to overtake them all—that is, if that were its goal.

“We’re not competing against DECA or FBLA, we’re complementing them,” NTHS president junior Ashley Ding said.

The club began last year by class of 2011 alum Hung-Jen Wu, and shares the same adviser as DECA business teacher Carl Schmidt. While DECA hosted its summer boot camp a few weeks before school began, a few of NTHS’ members worked alongside them. However, unlike DECA, which is one of the largest MVHS clubs, NTHS carefully hand-picks its members to ensure that the members represent the cream of the crop. As they are not actively recruiting, the club’s limited spaces are filled by invitation only.

“We only have a capacity for around thirty members, so we take the top students from DECA and FBLA,” said Ding. “That’s why we require all our members to either be in DECA or FBLA, and then we look at their competitive performance and their other characteristics.”

Furthermore, Ding explained that while DECA and FBLA train their members and teach them the fundamentals of business for competitions, NTHS applies these concepts to help them write business and marketing plans. The ‘technological’ aspect of the club also indicates its orientation towards technology by putting technology enthusiasts’ skills to the test with website construction and the like. Most importantly, the club provides its members with opportunities to work with organizations in the real world, giving them the head start they need to become successful in their future business careers.

“One of the major things we’re doing is working with an entrepreneur who is an African American; he has a vision of coming up with a new product which is an urban style barbecue sauce. [NTHS] is working with the website and promotion,” Schmidt said. “This is intriguing because the number of African Americans in MVHS is very small, and for us in business you have to be able to work with all customers … the most important thing I want students to learn here is that this is about building bridges, not creating walls.”

NTHS allows their members to acquire experience by working and seeing first-hand; the officers were recently invited to attend a venture capital meeting, where they observed entrepreneurs of various backgrounds and ages whom were active and thriving in the business environment. Schmidt feels that by being so involved in the real life scenarios, the members get a concrete image of what to expect in their future careers. Along the way, they receive guidance and support from Schmidt as well, including constant reminders that students pursuing business—be they members from DECA, FBLA, NTHS, or all of the above—in particular may find hard to accept in their growth.

“Failure is not permanent,” Schmidt said. “Failure is just another way to learn and the most successful people are the people that try something that fails, and then find a better way. I really pity those people that are successful the first time because they think they’re geniuses.”