Student Spotlight

Competitions on the rise at Baruch
“Excitement, Enthusiasm and Happy Faces!”

By Ginny Goldberg

Each semester new graduate MBA & MS students enter Baruch’s Zicklin School of Business and begin an exciting and rigorous journey. Many of our graduate students are working, some have family obligations, some do volunteer work, and some are doing all of the above. With so many responsibilities it is sometimes difficult to conceive of taking on additional roles. Yet we believe that a student’s co-curricular life complements his/her formal education, so, at Zicklin we encourage our MBA & MS students to get involved - join clubs, attend events and participate in competitions - and our students love the challenge of participating in competitions. Over the past few years we have seen student participation rise and our outcomes continue to increase!

Our students are intelligent, diligent and competitive and are proud to brand their school. You can feel and see the enthusiasm and passion for what they do. As Rory Christian, Class of 2008, said, “The structure of the project is exactly what Baruch had prepared us for”. Competitions blend both academics and real world professional skills in a way that prepares students for their future career paths. The benefits of participating are both intrinsic and extrinsic. No-one learns more than by doing and students reinforce their knowledge and skills by getting involved! The team experience, leadership and time management skills shared by the team members are a lasting benefit. It’s a win-win!

Here are some of our recent successes:

  • Executive Leadership Council Competition: In 2008 a team of 5 graduate students placed first in this competition sponsored by Shell Oil. It was a true test of multi-tasking using teambuilding, leadership and communication skills to insure success. The winning team members: Rory Christian, Nicole Daignault-O’Malley, Cameca Johnson, Alexander Keel, and Sonya Spencer Rocvil each won $4,000 in scholarship money!
  • TeamMBA: The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®) realized that, in addition to all their other responsibilities, graduate business students find time to give back to their communities. As volunteers, they show through action that they are engaged, caring and committed to social responsibility. To celebrate, promote, and publicize this outstanding work, GMAC® started TeamMBA, the global initiative for community service by students in graduate management programs. This year, for the first time, a team of Zicklin Full-Time Honors MBA students, created the Financial Literacy for Youth Program (FLY) and won the 2009 Service Award for Original Program!
  • Baruch College and Merrill Lynch Invitational Entrepreneurship Competition: Renaissance, a team of Zicklin students from the Honors MBA Class of 2010 was awarded first-prize in the “social track” of this expanded 2008- 2009 competition. Team members, Cindy Chang, Sayaka Eto, Ashok Kamal, Kevin Ng, and Varun Vummidi received $10,000 prize money and were allotted seed money contingent upon successful launch their new business idea.
  • Wal-Mart Better Living Business Plan: Co-sponsored by Net Impact this national competition involves 40 top business schools from across the country. The Renaissance team (yes, the same team that won the Baruch College and Merrill Lynch Invitational) competed head-to-head against Wharton, University of Virginia, and Howard University (the host school). The team developed a business plan to make fashionable, innovative products out of recycled materials. The first prototype product is a children's backpack made from recycled plastic bottles. Despite being bested by the University of VA, the Zicklin students were deemed runner-up for the regional round and offered the opportunity to meet with Wal-Mart officials to discuss future possibilities for the proposed company.
  • Collegiate ECHO Awards: This year Zicklin graduate teams won both Silver and Bronze awards from the Direct Marketing Education Foundation (DMEF). We are extremely proud to say that since the inception of the ECHO awards, Baruch has won more awards than any other college!
  • Microsoft Advertising Digital Challenge: Created by a Baruch College alumnus, this year Baruch College was represented by several teams consisting of both undergraduate and graduate students. Baruch graduate teams won 2nd place, 3rd place and finalist awards. An undergraduate joint Baruch/Fordham team won a finalist award. Jessica Salvatore, a member of ONE – the Baruch graduate team that won 2nd place, recalls: “Being in the Microsoft Digital Marketing Challenge has certainly been one of the greatest experiences I had while pursuing my MBA at Baruch. It was hard to compete with so many students from all over US but the benefit and opportunity we had were a lot. The competition challenged my creativity, and enhanced not only my technical skills but my communication skills, team working skills, time management skills, writing skills and much more. These are the things I always dreamed to learn and be mine while pursuing my career path. The competition complemented the classroom learning experience and gave me a crucial inside perspective of the real business world. And last but not least we really had a lot of fun!” Another team member, Iwona Rozalewicz recalls, “The Microsoft competition was the greatest experience ever!!! Hard work that was very rewarding at the end. It was the best way to meet a lot of people and successfully network with great dose of fun!”
  • ACG Cup: This year, for the first time, the New York chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) participated in the ACG cup competition. Ellen King, Assistant Director, Employer Relations in Zicklin’s Graduate Career Management Center, sent this message: “Please join me in congratulating our Baruch team; Jane Bangiyeva, Vikas Desai, Meera Devi, Chirag Mehta, and Viswanath Garlapati, for competing in the final round of the New York ACG Cup Competition. Schools participating included Adelphi, Cornell, Fordham, Hofstra, NYU, and Pace. They (Baruch Team) came in third place, winning $1000, behind Cornell and NYU. This is the first year this competition has taken place in New York State.” Many thanks to Professors Ashok Vora , Gwen Webb and everyone who volunteered their time and expertise to coach this enthusiastic team. The team expressed what a great learning experience this was for each of them. They all work full time and attend school in the evening. They dedicated many hours to create a top notch presentation.
  • Upcoming 2009 - 2010 Competitions include:

    NYSSA – For undergraduate and graduate students
    Merrill Lynch and Baruch College Entrepreneurship Competition

    KPMG – Going Green Competition

    We can all play a part! Let the graduate programs office know about any upcoming competitions and we’ll spread the word! (646-312-3130)

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Telephone: 646-312-3030