After participating in the SIFE Regional Competition in Chicago on April 16, North Central College’s SIFE team was named a regional champion and qualified to compete in the SIFE USA National Exposition May 22-24 in Kansas City. Some 65 teams competed at the Chicago regional event.
Colleges and universities that have active SIFE programs are invited to send a team to one of 11 Regional Competitions, which are team-oriented contests. Through a written annual report and live audiovisual presentation, teams report the results of their community outreach projects to panels of business leaders serving as judges. Teams are evaluated based on how successful they were at using business concepts to improve the quality of life and standard of living for those in need.
North Central’s presentation focused on six of SIFE’s many projects and the services SIFE members provide:
• NCC’s Best. Marketing and selling of Conscious Bean coffee grown in Guatemala and several global merchandise suppliers and their products
• Maya Heritage. Consulting an artisan in Guatemala on shipping problems
• Hopi. Helping this Native American tribe build a glass-blowing shop
• Arbor Vitae Java & Juice. Doing in-depth cost analysis, helping revise business plan of local business
• Community Garden. Partnering with nonprofit to build self-sustaining garden for immigrant families
• New Beginnings. Partnering with nonprofit to start a day care business
Student team members included five speakers or presenters, a designer and a writer for the annual report, a videographer and two speech writers. After the presentation, judges asked questions of all members and rendered their decision at the end of the daylong contest.
Speakers included Anika Shain ’12, Sergio Vargas ’14, Kimberly Dallmann ’14, Kye Manuel Holston-Brown ’13, and international student Arturo Perez de Los Llanos.
For the annual report, Samantha Suarez ’13 designed the layout and Erik Frandin ’15 wrote the content. The video was created by Katie Carpenter ’13, and the speech was written by Kyle Evers ’12 and David Johnson ’12.
Evers, who is president of North Central’s SIFE and majoring in both marketing and management, received a Platinum Leadership Award during the regional event. The award recognized him for serving up to 1,000 hours of volunteer time in SIFE. Evers says he met with some 15 different company representatives and landed two on-the-spot interviews during the daylong event. “I was able to personally speak with recruiters and create relationships. They told me they’d see to it I would get an interview, so overall, the experience was very key to my success and gaining a career,” he says.
Students on the team are majoring in a variety of academic areas, including biochemistry, anthropology, elementary education, English literature, sociology, interactive media studies, accounting, management, Spanish, marketing, sport management and economics.
Four faculty advisors for SIFE were present during the competition. They are Gerald Thalmann, associate professor and chair of accounting (not included in photo); Jean Clifton, associate professor of management; Neil Nicholson, assistant professor of mathematics; and Matthew Krystal, assistant professor of anthropology.