PBL-SIFE to Present Annual Report at Regional Competition

by Meghan Shruck, Panther Press

SIFE USA CompetitionsWhile everyone is off to their spring break destinations this March, 10 dedicated York College PBL-SIFE members will be on their way to Minneapolis, MN to compete in the annual regional competition. SIFE members work together to produce many projects throughout the year in order to create a network between business students, professionals, and industrial leaders of today. SIFE members learn firsthand the power a business has to make change, as well as the hard work involved to gain such power.

At the regional competition on March 22, the YC team will present their annual report, discussing this past year's major projects. Each year, SIFE requires projects that meet criteria in the following categories: market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental action, and business ethics. In addition, York College strives to succeed in projects concerning personal criteria much closer to home, such as community service, fundraising, and sustainability.

This year, SIFE will particularly emphasize three projects in their annual report presentation. Joining several other two- and four-year schools, York SIFE members will have seven minutes for set-up, 24 minutes for the presentation, five minutes for question and answer, and one minute to exit. Perhaps the most exciting, yet nerve-racking, portion of the presentation is the question and answer segment. The team will be asked questions and judged by business people from some of today's leading companies, including WalMart, Radio Shack, Sprint, and Wells Fargo.

Under the criterion of market economics, SIFE will speak about their soon-to-be- completed project for Eternal Threads. York College's PBL-SIFE, under supervision of Professor Marti Soderholm, will soon be selling sewing machines for $85 that will be given to mothers in India. The goal for this project is to teach mothers the business of using their sewing machine. This will reflect in the lives of these mothers as it will potentially keep their children out of the child labor market.

Second, under the financial literacy criterion, PBL-SIFE members formed an investment group, under the direction of Dr. Roger Collins. While other business schools perform investment simulations and attend seminars, YC business students will be allowed to choose real companies and invest real money with help from the Levitt trust. This is an exciting project, and most definitely will be a great learning tool for YC's future business people.

Third, PBL-SIFE, under the criterion of environmental action, will be hosting the annual Green Week, inviting the campus to lower their carbon footprints and all other things green. Coming back by popular demand will be the Green Week sculpture competition, in which students submit sculptures made from recycled goods.

In addition to the presentation, SIFE members attend a career fair on site that allows students to meet with different companies from around the nation. Students are able to browse through different businesses and speak with their associates, as well as exchange information for future employment opportunities. In fact, several leading businesses will choose employees who have SIFE on their resumes from college over those applicants who do not. In addition to the career fair, SIFE students have the opportunity to be split up at lunch time in order to speak with some of the business professionals available for answering questions.

Second-year YC participant, Julie Garcia says: "It is really hard to go up there and speak, but the judges give really good feedback that we can use in the future business setting."

YC wishes the PBL-SIFE team good luck and safe travels as they represent us in the regional competition. SIFE students learn by teaching others, and they most certainly are learning to change the world one person at a time. 

Excited about this experience to watch a new year's team represent York, Soderholm says: "PBL-SIFE is unique every year. These students can shape the club how they want and do what is important to them." PBL, has been a long-standing tradition at York College, for about 30 years, where SIFE is relatively new to York, being established in 2001.

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