SIFE Club Travels to San Francisco for Regional Competition
After a full year of planning and hosting events, five Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) members were able to compete in the regional SIFE competition in San Francisco in April. Zach Curtis, Jamie Pearce, Elliot Rueb, Susan Sheaffer and Kate Snapp represented the MSU College of Business SIFE club along with advisor, Gary Bishop.
In order to qualify for the competition, the club had to complete a project in each of SIFE’s seven categories: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability, business ethics and team and program sustainability. Each project had to promote and create economic opportunity for those attending the event.
The club put together some great educational events for these categories including a financial literacy session for freshman students and a guest lecture focused on business ethics with Carson Taylor, City of Bozeman commissioner and College of Business adjunct instructor. All of the events and activities had to be documented and it took the club multiple days of organizing and compiling presentation plans and travel plans to prepare for the competition.
The competition was an amazing experience for the students. Elliot Rueb, president of the SIFE club recalled the trip as very rewarding professionally: “We gave a 24 minute presentation on our accomplishments of the year which was presented to a panel of 15 judges as well as a conference room of spectators. We really pulled together and had a great performance, even though we didn’t make it into the world cup. Other competitors consisted of large schools such as UCLA and Oregon State, but even their advisors said we competed tough for such a small school. It taught me how valuable teamwork can be and what teams can accomplish when working together.”
Their advisor Gary Bishop agreed, “The SIFE team performed admirably at the 2010 regional competition. The competition was fierce but this event has strengthened the SIFE team’s performance and overall desire to do better at next year’s competition and other future competitions.”
This opportunity was made possible to the SIFE club by the College of Business; alumni, Jim and Connie Alderson; and the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU).
The SIFE website, www.sife.org, describes these competitions as “challenging, team-oriented events that create a sense of accountability and motivation for teams to continually improve the quality of their projects. They also provide an opportunity for collaboration and best-practice sharing, further strengthening the value of the learning experience and the overall effectiveness of the program.”
SIFE, an international non-profit organization, works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. National champion teams advance to the prestigious SIFE World Cup. In addition to the community aspect of the program, SIFE’s leadership and career initiatives create meaningful opportunities for learning and exchange among the participants as well as the placement of students and alumni with companies in search of emerging talent.