Revived organization takes second in competition

Lee Betancourt

Five members of the Villanova School of Business won second place in the Joseph L. Bush Jr. Trophy category at the 2007 International Business Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

Christina Park, the president of Villanova’s Society for Advancement of Management, headed the group.

She said that the group had “a little over two weeks” to prepare and develop a marketing plan, PowerPoints and presentation skills and organize team chemistry.

“Time was of the essence,” she said.

The team consisted of seniors Morgan Hendrickson, Richard Scioli and Denis Connell; sophomore Colleen Furman; and Park.

At the conference, the group picked its presentation time slot at random and received the last one.

“The last time slot was what we were rooting for since the judges tend to forget the earlier presentations,” Park said.

Park also said that Villanova’s time slot came after Bentley College – the school that has won the competition multiple times. Despite Bentley’s experience, Park said that Villanova’s team “thought [they] had a good chance of winning.”

Once they were in front of the judges, the five students presented their company case, Church and Dwight, and “played up the corporate social responsibility portion,” Park said.

Church and Dwight is the company that makes Arm & Hammer products and is a company similar to Proctor and Gamble.

SAM focused its case on expanding Church and Dwight internationally into China and Africa, Park said.

Because this was SAM’s first active year, this was its first competition.

“We didn’t know what to expect in terms of how the competition was run and how competitive the conference is,” Park said. “Since this was our first year attending [the conference], it was just hard getting the swing of things and making sure we were doing things right.”

Despite this, the case itself “wasn’t particularly heavy on finance or accounting, but more of a marketing strategy, so that was fine,” Park said.

Professor Kevin Clark, who accompanied SAM on the trip, helped the team prepare. He previously had coached teams from Bentley in similar case competitions.

SAM plans to expand its activities next year. Park said that her goal for this year was to “re-establish the society and revive it as best as we could,” but that next year she and SAM plan to host a number of networking workshops for business students.