Campbell University's MBA students won first and second place in the 22nd annual Graduate Business Competition sponsored by the North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center.
The competition is designed to give students the opportunity to work with actual client companies and compete with other students for prize money. Awards were presented during a luncheon at Campbell University on Friday, April 24.
The first place team worked with Sasco Equipment Rentals of NC in Raleigh, a small equipment rental business. The team partnered with Sasco ownership to identify areas of needed improvement. The implemented changes resulted in several improvements, including an increase in collections, enhanced web presence, performance review process and a more efficient mailing process.
The second team assisted Ezzell Electrical Components, Inc., an emergency power generation systems company in Godwin, N.C. Upon identification of areas needing improvement, the team proposed a refined organizational structure and developed several marketing solutions for future expansion.
"This is not a business model competition. This is an opportunity for students to work with real-world problems with real-world businesses," said Greg Taylor, Regional Director for the Small Business & Technology Development Center. "This is good experience that they could not otherwise gain."
"This was valuable experience, not just homework," said Stacie Shepherd, a member of the Sasco team. "It was exciting to see an active change in the company's bottom line because of our suggested changes."
When asked to comment about both teams receiving top awards in the competition, faculty liaison Dr. Shahriar Mostashari, said he was pleasantly surprised.
"This one-two finish is yet another landmark victory in the history of the MBA program at Campbell University," said Mostashari. "In Campbell's 19 years of participation in the Graduate Business Competition, our MBA students have taken first place seven times and second place five times. The Business School also boasts five third-place awards and four honorable mentions. It's a demonstration of Campbell's long standing commitment to reach out to the community and serve small to midsize area businesses."
The Sasco team was comprised of students Chris Carlson, Seth Hopkins and Stacie Shepherd. The Ezzell team included Daniel Booth, Nancy Jo Ezzell, Eric Flinchum and Zach Mclawhorn.
Photo Copy: First Row: Stacie Shepherd, Nancy Jo Ezzell, Dr. Shahriar MostashariSecond Row: Eric Flinchum, Chris Carlson, Seth Hopkins, Zach McLawhorn, Daniel BoothLast Row: Dr. Mike Seibert, Dr. Edward Fubara