SIFE students look to competition

Wed, 2012-07-25 09:14 -- univcomm
During the last few weeks of fall semester most college students' thoughts turn to winter break and relaxing. For Anderson University participants of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), every school day is precious in preparation for their next project and competitions held during the spring. "We are not only planning on doing well at the regional competition, but going on to nationals," said Stefan Dobrikov, a senior management major at AU who is also the president of the university's SIFE chapter. The SIFE organization, active on more than 1,000 college campuses in the United States, is one of the nation's leading business clubs.

Students have the opportunity to organize their own business-oriented projects and enter those endeavors in competitions held at the end of the school year.

AU's SIFE team won first runner-up honors during last year's regional competition in Cincinnati.

They hope to do as well, if not better, this year and return to the national competition in Kansas City, Mo.

Two recent projects AU's SIFE students have been working on include a game called OUCH! that is designed to teach high school students about the dangers of credit card debt.

The other project is a stock market game designed to give university students and faculty a chance to play and learn about a virtual stock market.

"We are planning to visit high schools in Anderson and the surrounding area to teach them about responsibility when they receive their first credit card," said Andrew Rosenberg, a freshman majoring in business management at the university.

Dobrikov said the campus stock market game has provided some interesting results.

"We have some students who are doing much better than some of the business professors who are also competing," he said.

Besides breeding healthy competition, SIFE instills a sense of confidence and leadership for those who participate, according to Dobrikov.

"I have participated all four years and it's really helped me," said Dobrikov. "You are able to do things, such as lead projects, that you would not be able to do in a business class setting."

Barry Ritchey, AU professor of economics, has been a faculty sponsor of SIFE for 10 years and lauds its merits.

"It help teaches students specific skills such as organizational skills, discipline and team building," said Ritchey. "You also see students put together some incredible stuff. They really have an opportunity to be creative in their projects and presentations."

-----DAVID F. NELSON is the business editor of the Anderson Herald-Bulletin.