Business Classes Shift Real-life Applications Into Gear for Business Students

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Message from Terri Graham, Interim President, West and Downtown Campuses 

From Se7en Bites to Rejuvenate Your Plate, Valencia College students and graduates are forever making their mark on the world of small business in Central Florida. West Campus Professor of Business Matthew Kenney believes that what students learn in our Associate in Science (A.S.) business administration degree and throughout business classes at the College has an impact on their success. Over the years, his students have created personal fitness companiesin-home personal chef services and even a local restaurant.

Matthew says the concepts he teaches our students may not make sense at first, but they are the kinds of things entrepreneurs need to survive and thrive in the real world. Matthew says, “Issues discussed in Business Law I, such as contracting, premises liability and employment law do not, generally, have immediate practicality for students.”

But Matthew notes, once a student starts a business, they all begin to make sense.

The latest success story from Matthew’s classes is Cristiane Wellisch De Oliveira. Cristiane came to Valencia from Brazil. She started her health and fitness venture, iCycleX, in 2020 with a studio located in Winter Garden.

“Cristiane is a great example of how a business law student applies classroom content in a dynamic business setting,” Matthew says. “[She] is learning in the morning and taking actions that improve her business, and the lives of others, in the afternoon.”

iCycleX offers indoor cycling, running and fitness classes as well as classes that mix exercise activities and can help members transition from one sport to another. Cristiane is just thrilled Valencia is preparing her so well for the future. She’s already graduated with her Associate in Arts and has been working on an A.S. in marketing for the past three years.

“Valencia has encouraged me to be myself and to try new things,” she explains. “My classes have taught me to be responsible for everything and prepare for the business world.”

To Matthew, Cristiane’s story is just one more example of how Valencia helps students gear up for success.

“Such is the beauty of education, and such is the power of Valencia to strengthen our community,” Matthew says.

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