By Kelsi Ortega – The William Jewell College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team continued a tradition of excellence when they were named Regional Champion at the SIFE USA Regional Competition held April 13, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. As Regional Champion, the team will now compete at the SIFE USA National Exposition May 22-24 at the Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization that 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. This year SIFE sponsored 11 regional competitions. Both two- and four-year colleges and universities can form SIFE teams. These teams develop outreach projects using business concepts designed to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The regional competitions provided a forum for the teams to present the results of their projects.
SIFE has been a part of the learning opportunities at William Jewell since 2004. This is the seventh time the Jewell SIFE team has progressed to Nationals. The Jewell sponsor is Linda Bell, Professor of Accounting and Sam Walton Fellow.
Students representing the 2011-2012 SIFE presentation team include: Chris Bradbury, Paul Cohoon, Megan McConnell, Kristin Moore, Josh Prock, Brad Robertson, and Brian Wiedeman. This year’s collection of projects included: Lakota Project, Let’s Can Hunger Challenge, Food Tunnel, Sam’s Club Challenge, Merit Badge College, North Star Job Club, Money Farm and Green Light.
The national competition will see participating teams divided into 20 opening round leagues. From the opening round, one finalist in each league will advance to one of the four semi-final round leagues, and then one team from each of these leagues will qualify to compete in the prestigious final round of competition. Approximately 250 top executives will review the presentations of these teams and ultimately choose the SIFE USA National Champion. This team will then represent the United States at the SIFE World Cup where it will compete against the national champion teams from 39 other countries.
The SIFE USA National Exposition brings together the top student, academic, and business leaders from around the country. Beyond the experience of the competition, the event is complete with additional opportunities for these leaders to connect. SIFE donor companies have the opportunity to recruit future talent through the career fair. The career fair this year will have two William Jewell College SIFE alumni who will be recruiting from Bimbo Bakeries and Frito-Lay. Special events, such as the SIFE Executive Reception and Dinner and Top to Future-Top Forum provide unique opportunities for networking, mentorship, and idea exchange.