Piedmont High School Student Wins First OKC-BBB Essay Contest
The Better Business Bureau Serving Central Oklahoma and The Oklahoma Torchlight Foundation have today announced the winner of the organizations' first annual essay contest for high school students interested in pursuing business studies. The essay, "Business Ethics in the 21st Century," was presented by Piedmont High School student Josh White.
Josh will attend OSU next year. The contest earns him a $500 cash prize donated by the Foundation. "Seeing the next generation of business leaders among our students and cultivating an interest and undestanding of the importance of maintaining high ethics in our business communities speaks directly to the goals of The Oklahoma Torchlight Foundation," said foundation chairman Joe Kernke. "We're proud to see Josh's ability to express the impact of solid ethical conduct in his writings and wish him luck pursuing his goals in the future.
Josh's essay is reproduced here and will become part of the BBB Serving Central Oklahoma's online library.
BUSINESS ETHICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
By Josh White
In a time when corporations are the subject of scrutiny from both the media and the general public, a company run with high business ethics is a diamond in the rough. When no fault can be found in a company, it will grow and prosper more often than not. Oklahoma has a rich history of successful business ventures, and this success could not have occurred without hard work and integrity.
Oklahoma City is obviously a growing community. Over the past ten years, we have seen major projects undertaken that both beautified our city and put us on the map as a great location for sports, travel, dining, and of course business. From local restaurants and clothing stores to Devon Energy, Oklahoma City is home to some of the most diverse and successful companies in the nation. While there is a possibility that a few of these businesses were not built using ethical practices, many of them were. If anyone has doubts regarding ethics, he or she should simply take a walk down Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City to see the immense growth and creativity budding from local businesses. True success cannot occur without ethics. If a business cuts corners and twists the truth, the consumer will eventually cease to frequent the business.
The recession of 2008 taught our nation many difficult lessons. We learned that reckless spending has the power to destroy an economy. We learned that no company is ever “too big to fail.” We were taken aback by the failure of many of America’s most successful businesses and their dishonest practices. When the CEO of a company is giving million-dollar bonuses while his company is filing for bankruptcy, something is definitely wrong. However, we also saw some businesses rise to the occasion and take control of the situation in a way that actually caused growth. The recession was a tragic and burdensome event, but hope showed up in the form of some businesses reporting positive growth, surging stock share prices, and new, efficient ways to produce products. Some of the prime examples of this growth are the successes of Apple, ConocoPhillips, and Oklahoma-owned Chesapeake Energy.
Based on the information given in the above paragraphs, it can be concluded that businesses with high ethical standards are more likely to succeed than businesses that lack ethics. What is even more important, however, than financial success, is the impact that a business makes on our community. Every year, hundreds of local fundraisers are held to benefit many different charities. Oklahoma-owned businesses like Sonic Drive In and Love’s Travel Stores have made both financial donations and contributed their products to better this great city and promote many noble causes.
In conclusion, Oklahoma City is the product of hard-working people who stopped at nothing to accomplish the will of the people. Through tireless work and ethical practices, Oklahoma City has become a thriving and competitive business market. There is still work to be done, but if we continue on the road we are currently traveling, the possibilities are endless.