SIFE: Countdown to Regional Competition
As many of you know, Keuka College’s SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) team is only a few short weeks away from regional competition in Cleveland.
For those who are unfamiliar with SIFE, it is an international college based student “academic competition” organization that promotes the principles of free enterprise through a variety of educational (example: teaching students the perils of credit card abuse) and direct assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses (example: co-sponsoring a “Winery / Marketing Forum” to bring winery owners and lending sources together). These projects continue throughout the academic year, then in the spring the SIFE teams compete in regional competition. Competition consists of an evaluation of what has been accomplished and how well the team tells its story in a very formal presentation by generally 2 – 6 SIFE team members. The winners (there are several) at regional competition qualify for national competition. Judging the teams is done by a panel of approximately 20 judges drawn from private industry, most of whom are senior executives. While at competition, SIFE team members also visit the many recruiters who are searching for talent within this “self-selected” group of students. Keuka’s track record is excellent, winning at regional competition eight of the past nine years and generally finishing as first or second runner up, and twice winning, the first round of competition at Nationals. This is especially notable for a college the size of Keuka, and is attributable to the passion, dedication, and hard work of the SIFE team members. It should be noted, that while SIFE is primarily a business-centered team, Keuka’s team enjoys a cross-section of students from many different majors across our campus. This sets us apart from most other colleges. The support of our campus administration and faculty is another significant advantage we enjoy.
We are once again very excited about our team and their chances for success in competition. We feel we have a great project line-up, strong team and project leadership, many team members who have spent countless hours on SIFE projects, and a capable, largely experienced presentation team. In some ways this is the “perfect storm” of experience, passion, and hard work. There will be many long days of preparation ahead of us as we prepare for competition.
As faculty advisor to SIFE, along with my partner Amanda Harris, we encourage any Keuka student interested in being part of an awesome, winning academic competition team to contact any of the SIFE officers (Ryan Ellingworth, Michael Fischer, Kaitlin Wood, or Brett Thoms).
Cheer us on! March 24 will be here soon!