Section Image: Business Tech campers in an observation room over the BNSF control center.

Business Tech Camp Educates High School Students on the Impact of Supply Chain

Through the TCU Supply Chain’s Business Tech Camp, Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep students gained valuable insight on supply chain, marketing and business technology, via an in-depth on-campus experience.

July 24, 2023

By Miya Hillesland

The TCU Neeley School of Business Center for Supply Chain Innovation hosted a weeklong Business Tech Camp designed for students who are interested in the world of supply chain, marketing, and business technology. The Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep students who participated were immersed in hands-on learning experiences, exploring the intricate logistics involved in product creation and the strategies behind successful marketing.

“The Center for Supply Chain Innovation at the Neeley School of Business is excited to collaborate with industry partners to create a unique experience for the Cristo Rey high school students each year,” said Molly Kanthack, Director TCU Neeley Center for Supply Chain Innovation.

In a Neeley classroom, a student wears googles while holding a phone.

“This camp introduces students to the importance of supply chain management and supply chain-related technologies and how they impact businesses across the globe. Many of these students are first-generation high school students, and for some this opportunity to stay on our campus is their first exposure to learn that TCU is possible for their future education,” Kanthack said.

Business Tech Camp participants who choose to attend TCU and study Supply Chain Management have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship from the TCU Neeley Center for Supply Chain Innovation.

This unique business camp for high school students fosters growth, innovation, and collaboration, and empowers students to unleash their business potential, while creating lasting memories and connections with one another, said Dani Ray Barton, the president of Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep.

“Cristo Rey students have been able to participate in cutting edge business-tech projects with incredible companies who help sponsor this opportunity; which further instills the belief in our first-generation students that they can attend incredible institutions like TCU and pursue meaningful careers with top employers,” said Barton.

“It's been incredible to see the connections students have taken from the b-tech camp back to the classroom and their corporate work study program placements during the school year and we are so grateful to TCU and all the corporate sponsors who are making investments like this in their future workforce,” Barton said.

A major component of the Business Tech camp engages students with immersive activities, such as a tour of BNSF Railway.

During camp, students were engaged in immersive activities such as a tour of BNSF Railway. Participants developed valuable insights and skills that are necessary for future entrepreneurial endeavors. This unique business program fosters growth, innovation, and collaboration, and empowers students to unleash their business potential while creating lasting memories and connections with one another.

Camp attendees standing with a BNSF railway car

“We are privileged to have had the Cristo Rey high school students that attended the TCU Neeley Supply Chain business technology camp visit the Fort Worth site at BNSF over the last two years,” said Drew Ruiz, the Chief Sourcing Officer for BNSF Railways.

“It is exciting to see the engagement from the students and it is our duty to feed the inquisitive spirit they bring. I had the opportunity to speak and spend time with many of the students and their interest is rooted in a desire to understand and participate in supply chain careers. That creates an incredible opportunity and responsibility for us as companies and individuals. I look forward to their growth as they pursue their education and eventual careers,” said Ruiz.

The Business Tech Camp participants gained a deeper understanding of recent developments, applications, and the newest technology driving innovation in the global supply chain. These skills can better equip students to become future leaders in anything they pursue, especially in the business world. The Business Tech Camp also includes exclusive access to leaders in the top companies in the DFW area, which allows students to witness firsthand how business technology is used outside of the classroom, said TCU Neeley Professor Travis Tokar.

Camp attendees in a Neeley classroom

"As a supply chain educator, it’s exciting to get to work with a group of high school students, most of whom have never heard of our field, and help them get a glimpse of how supply chain management shapes their daily lives,” Tokar said. “I loved seeing lightbulbs come on as they began to understand some of the immense challenges involved in putting everyday items we take for granted on store shelves – and how those challenges are overcome. My hope is that the experience unlocked a sense of joy and wonderment for each of them as they gained insight into the miracle of our modern world.

“Further, I hope each came away with an understanding of the rich opportunities available to them through a career in Supply Chain Management. I would love to see each of them in a supply chain class in the not-too-distant future,” said Tokar.