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Students prepare for careers

Teams develop solid business plans

This year's Business Plan Contest is underway! Students are working in teams to research and develop business plans that are feasible, profitable, and innovative. They will present these plans to a panel of judges, consisting of local business leaders, for the chance to win a scholarship on May 8.

Business Plan Contest winnersLast May, nine teams of students, both undergraduate and MBA, participated. The winning team researched and developed a plan for a business that will convert local farmers' dairy waste into a source of renewable energy to power homes and businesses in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The runner-up team created a plan for a web-based design management software which bridges the gap between web and graphic designers or design firms and their clients in design projects. Both teams were awarded scholarships.

Carl Meyer, President & Chief Executive Officer of The Solar Energy Consortium, was the business mentor of the winning team. He believes mentoring is both valuable to students and rewarding to the mentors. "The students gain access to real world experience to supplement their developing business knowledge and skills. At the same time, the mentor is exposed to new insights and perspectives shared by the students."

Joe Lahita '12, '13g was a member of the winning team. "The Business Plan Contest allowed me to apply my classroom knowledge to a real business project. The experience and skills I gained from creating a business plan will undoubtedly help me succeed in my professional career."

Please let us know if you are interested in being a sponsor, mentoring a team, or providing an idea for the teams to develop.


Students debate ethical topics

There were four teams that participated in the student debates in the Spring semester and 12 teams in the Fall. Topics included: federal health care reform, Buffet Rule tax legislation, tracking devices in school ID badges, social media, and sustainability. The debates were judged by local business leaders, and the winning team was awarded a scholarship.

Debate winnersGene Moncrief, Managing Director of Moncrief & Associates, Inc., has provided continued support for the debates over the years. "One of the keys to success in an organizational environment is to be able to confidently and concisely present your ideas and to listen to others. The debates hone a student's abilities to think critically and to articulate new thoughts and ideas. As a judge, it was my pleasure to watch students exercise and grow in their thinking and communicating skills."

Please let us know if you are interested in judging a debate or submitting ideas for topics.


Investment Competition prospers

The Investment Competition is in its fourth year! Students use financial software to create and manage portfolios throughout the Fall semester. They present their strategy and results to a panel of judges for the chance to win a scholarship.

Investment Competition winnersLenny Boccia '89, Managing Director-Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, enjoys participating in this competition as both a speaker and judge. "This event is as rewarding to me as it is the students. It's a great way for me to give back, as well as providing the students with useful feedback and guidance as to what happens in the world of business."

Adam Stumer '89, Vice President, Audit Services for NYSE Euronext, is also very supportive of this competition and arranged for the winning team in the Fall to receive a tour of the New York Stock Exchange.

Please let us know if you are interested in judging the competition or speaking to the class.


Students offer tax assistance

During the Spring 2012 semester, 33 students participated as volunteer tax preparers, providing free income tax preparation to low wage earners in our community. The students processed 20 percent more tax returns than last year (just under 200). Students applied what they have learned in their tax and accounting classes and had the opportunity to practice their communication skills while interacting with clients and providing a valuable service to the community. This program is offered every Spring.