Sandermoen students recognized for a third consecutive year at 41st Annual SBI Conference

Sandermoen students recognized for a third consecutive year at 41st Annual SBI Conference

For a third consecutive year, students studying at the Sandermoen School of Business have had their academic achievement recognized by the Small Business Institute (SBI) Annual Conference.

This year, the MBA 5035 Strategic Market Planning team of Kevin Borczyk, Jenny Lainsbury, Ravinder Lally, and Brandon Tupper, under the guidance of their professor, Dr. Blake Escudier, were awarded 2nd place for their work on a feasibility plan. Dr. Escudier submitted their paper entitled, “PVMA eLearning Programs,” for the Professional Vegetation Managers Association (PVMA) to the SBI Conference.

The SBI is an organization that consists of universities and faculty that run experiential learning programs and boasts over 150 universities as members. The conference features keynote speakers, paper presentations, and workshops to focus on best practices. Competitive Paper Awards and Project-of-the-Year (POY) winners are showcased at the Annual Awards Luncheon.

Dr. Escudier has been involved with the SBI since he was a part of a student team in the 1980s. After he had completed his PhD., he wrote a paper for the SBI Annual Conference and received an invitation to join the Board of the SBI. As VP of Publications and Research, Dr. Escudier was responsible for a campaign to reinvigorate experiential learning and connections with the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) as part of the SBI Annual Conference.

Each of the team members agrees that the success of this project was due to the participants. Jenny shared that Brandon convinced the group of the importance and direct applicability of the project.  Brandon said his “classmates and the professor had to challenge everything about the concept” to fully understand the task in a way he may not have done on his own. Kevin also stated that “strong participation and time commitment from all group members” was essential and that this team gave their best.

Since completing this course, Kevin has increased his “business acumen and approach to supporting a variety of different business units in a global economy, ” and Brandon has found the confidence to start his own business.

Dr. Escudier asserts that even before they are finished studying, UFred students are creating projects of real world value:

The Sandermoen School of Business has programs designed for working manager and executives. These programs follow a philosophy of adult education based on reading, listening, learning, and applying. The natural output from this philosophy, when working with existing businesses, is project-reports designed to help the beneficiary company’s strategic future.

The continued success of these papers recognized at the SBI Conference directly highlights the level of education students of UFred receive and the commitment they apply to their work.

Regarding the plan for PVMA presented at SBI this year, Jenny said, “The report served as a springboard for pitching a new training structure for PVM to the Government of Alberta and acquiring funding from the Professional Vegetation Managers Association.”

Brandon shared his tip for success: “Get to know your classmates, ” and Jenny concurred, “In the ever-evolving global environment, connections with like-minded, motivated and talented individuals are crucial, and UFred provides great opportunities.” On a final note, Kevin added, “I can honestly say, even in an online environment, I forged strong relationships and took away a great deal of knowledge and new skills from this program.”