Carnegie Mellon's Students in Free Enterprise Team
Advances to National Championship, May 11-13
PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team has earned an opportunity to compete at the SIFE USA National Championship May 11-13 in Minneapolis after winning the regional championship in Philadelphia this spring.
The team of 225 students completed 11 educational outreach projects and logged 7,880 hours of service over the past year. Their projects focused on SIFE's six pillars: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, business ethics and environmental sustainability.
"This year marks our SIFE chapter's 10-year anniversary. Reflecting on our history, it is apparent that our chapter has grown significantly in a short time," said Scarlett Su, SIFE president and junior business administration major. "This year, we wanted to focus on making our projects more sustainable by increasing their quality and extending their reach."
The team's outreach projects included spring break trips to Nicaragua and Panama, where members assisted farmers in adopting environmentally sustainable practices, cleaning areas surrounding cacao crops and promoting agritourism, a vacation in which participants learn about farming activities. Members conducted personal financial skills workshops at local high schools and presented an interactive game show about ethics on the university's campus. The team also partnered with Tepper School of Business faculty members in February to host the Concept-to-Company Micro-enterprise Symposium for 110 women participating in the YWCA of Downtown Pittsburgh's Enterprising Women Program.
"SIFE truly offers a genuine opportunity to complement your academic experience. The skill set you learn in the classroom is never fully realized unless tested in a real-world situation," said Jamie Yieh, sophomore business administration major and Concept-to-Company project leader. "I was not only able to apply the information taken from class, but I was also exposed to settings that helped shape a different, but just as important skill set: the ability to problem solve, communicate effectively and work in a team."
In addition to advancing to the national competition, the team was named one of 20 national finalists in three corporate-sponsored topic competitions. Carnegie Mellon's SIFE team received a total of $3,000 in prize money through the HSBC Financial Literacy Competition, the Robert Half International Success Skills Competition and the Sealed Air Business Ethics Competition.
Anthony Stanton, who teaches graphic media management at the Tepper School of Business, has advised the team since its inception. Team members represent a variety of majors across Carnegie Mellon's seven schools and colleges. The team also works with an advisory board consisting of faculty, staff, SIFE alumni and corporate sponsors.
SIFE is an international nonprofit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. SIFE teams are active at more than 1,500 academic institutions in 40 countries. For more information, visit http://www.cmusife.org. To download a copy of Carnegie Mellon SIFE's 2010 annual report, visit http://cmusife.org/a65.