Quinn Walker ‘16 – The business world is to many students a vast ocean of the unknown. But to those who attended Macomb County’s Global Trade Mission this past week, the business world has become much more familiar. For three days from November 18-20, one hundred and seventy students from school districts throughout Macomb County, thirteen of which from RHS, gathered together at the Macomb Intermediate School District building for the 2014 Global Trade Mission. As http://gtmmacomb.weebly.com/ explains, GTM is a multi-day experience in which the mission is to create a pipeline of qualified young professionals who are adept at problem solving.

“GTM really prepares students for a different type of learning,” said Adam Nelson ‘15. “Because there is so much freedom, it forces us to adapt, instead of simply following directions.”

GTM consists of a two day workshop meant to simulate a real international trade mission and one day of presentation. Within the two day workshop, students are split into separate groups, each group with a different region from around the globe, and sent to that region’s room in global hall, where they are then put into smaller groups of three or four. During the time in their groups, students work to develop a new product that solves a problem in their region.

“There is a large air pollution problem in Latin America, so my group’s product was the Carbon Catcher,” said Colin Rosni ‘16. “It is designed to filter out the carbon dioxide released from exhaust pipes on cars, which prevents air pollution.”

On day three of GTM, groups present their products to a panel of investors, similar to the popular ABC show Shark Tank, in hopes of receiving a fake one million dollar investment. This year’s million dollar winners from RHS include Louis Thom and Xaina McLearen. Michael Shaddock also won a personal award for resourcefulness.

“It was unbelievable,” said Xaina McLearen ‘15. “It was shocking to compete against six other groups and have yours be the one that won. It was a prideful feeling.”

Winning the million dollar investment is a big part of GTM but the knowledge one acquires from being involved in such a hands on, real-world experience is the true prize. Skills learned at GTM will be useful to its participants whether they enter the business world or not, and the things they learn there will follow them for the rest of their lives.

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