Florida State University’s chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) won big at the annual International Collegiate Business Skills Championship March 18-20.
FSU’s students racked up award after award including chapter of the year and two other chapter-wide awards from a field of colleges and universities from around the globe in the undergraduate division.
The haul also included 11 awards for individual members spread across five categories, including national student of the year, claimed by Harry Hirst, a junior from Ocala, Florida. Each of FSU’s winning students is a commercial entrepreneurship major in the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship.
Bob Garner, chapter adviser and teaching faculty in the Moran College, said he was thrilled with the results and that they spoke to the caliber of students in the group and at FSU.
“It really shows the quality of kids we have in our program, the curriculum we have, and that the faculty are doing a really good job teaching our students critical thinking skills and soft skills like public speaking and presenting,” he said. “SAM has been having competitions for decades, and the organization is over 100 years old. It’s really exciting and just a great opportunity.”
Garner said the win for Chapter of the Year was especially gratifying.
“I am very, very proud we won chapter of the year; that’s a measure of how much community service and community involvement the chapter has had,” he said. “Even with the COVID restrictions, the club managed to participate in eight community service projects, including carrying groceries to cars at a local food pantry and painting a deck and fence at the Goodnews Outreach campus. It’s so important to expose students to that.”
In both the business case competition and the written business plan competition, a team comprised of Hirst; Kaitlyn Killeen, a junior from New Port Richie, Florida; Satya Simpson, a junior from Orlando; and Mark Geller, a junior from Boca Raton, Florida, finished second. Simpson and Killeen were also singled out for individual honors as regional student award winners.
Three FSU students competed in the Business Skills events which included a knowledge bowl, extemporaneous speaking and a business pitch competition.
FSU earned a clean sweep in the extemporaneous speaking event, with three seniors, Connor Jones of Tampa, Davis Taylor of Lewes, Delaware, and Ryan O’Malley of Tampa, finishing first, second and third, respectively.
FSU also swept the Business Pitch Competition with Taylor taking home the top prize, and O’Malley and Jones rounding out the top three. In the knowledge bowl, Jones placed second while O’Malley and Taylor tied for third.
In the Individual Business Skills category, O’Malley finished second while Jones finished third.
The FSU chapter also won first place in the overall team business skills competition in the Undergraduate Division.