York Impresses In HBCU Business Faceoff

In early June the Office of Career Services took six York students, to the National Urban League’s 41st Annual Black Executive Exchange Program Leadership Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Three of the students, Alvin Victor, Aisha Niang and Thelma Suarez Ortega, were selected to compete in the finals of the Walmart Student Case Study Competition. York placed second beating out numerous Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HSBU) who submitted entries and who had been competing for some time.

Team York competed against Florida A & M University and Hampton University students, who are all on five-year Masters tracks.

The second-place position for York is significant when placed in the context of how short a time the CUNY constituent college has been participating in the program compared to the others; and that the York participants were competing against Masters candidates.

“This is our third consecutive year participating in the case study, says Linda Chesney, director of York’s Division of Career Services. “

Sponsored by super retail chain, Walmart, the York students enjoyed the networking opportunity the trip afforded, according to Randy Punter, senior Career Services specialist.

“It gives students the opportunity to meet students like themselves and meet corporate people,” noted Punter, who also stressed the importance of getting students into the Career Service Office early their college career at York, to be mentored on an ongoing basis.

The case study, according to Alvin Victor, a senior majoring in Business, Walmart, a sponsor, requested [that] they do a case study known as a “pull strategy,” which “makes use of a company's sales force and trade promotion activities to create consumer demand for a product.

Victor said he believed York would have won the competition, which carries a prize of $5,000, but York’s presentation, “needs work.”

Indeed, Dr. Harry Rosen, dean of the School of Business and Information Systems at York, is currently working on incorporating presentations and executive summaries into the curriculum, to make his students more adept presenters, and therefore, strengthen them not just for competitions during their student years, but to strengthen them for the job market as well.

Victor, for his part, had the opportunity to meet and speak with Urban League president, Marc Morial as well as to participate in preparing predictions for a time capsule to be opened in 2020.

“The predictions are about ‘what are the three barriers’ (to economic access and stability) and predict how things will change,” said Victor, who will graduate next spring.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in something like this.”

York plans to participate in next year’s event again and, armed with the training being prepared by Dean Rosen, will be more formidable competitors.

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