A team of two students from the College of Saint Benedict and two more from Saint John’s University were awarded first place in the International Collegiate Business Skills Competition at the Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM) annual conference on Saturday (March 18) in Nashville. It was the eighth time since 2012 that CSB and SJU won the undergraduate division title.
Anne Beuning and Bailey Eakins represented Saint Ben’s and Daniel Eickhoff and William Maikkula represented Saint John’s in the 42nd annual SAM Case Competition. They presented research they conducted through an experiential learning program within the schools’ global business leadership department.
This year’s case study was related to waste issues in St. Augustine, Florida, and representatives from the city helped judge the competition.
Eickhoff, a junior from St. Cloud, Minnesota, took first place in overall individual performance and was second in extemporaneous speaking. Eakins, a senior from Annandale, Minnesota, placed third with her business pitch. Beuning, a junior from Andover, Minnesota, and Maikkula, a senior from Sedalia, Colorado, also contributed as the group took first place in a business knowledge bowl and first place in overall team performance. Annually, students from almost two dozen schools from around the nation have participated in the three different divisions of the competition.
“Our students excelled in their ability to apply their liberal arts education,” said Steve Schwarz, visiting assistant professor of global business leadership. “They critically analyzed the case study information, designed strategic recommendations and delivered a professional presentation. The future is bright with this talented group.”
Travel expenses for the group were offset by assistance from the Office of Undergraduate Research & Scholars and support from global business leadership. Lei Fan, a visiting assistant professor in the global business leadership department, also made the trip with the group and coached the team.
The students also will present April 27 on campus during Scholarship and Creativity Day.