For years, Rider University’s College of Business Administration has encouraged its students to learn, experience and lead. Rider’s Small Business Institute (SBI) has taken the concept of “experience” to heart, giving students valuable familiarity with real-life business situations before they even earn their degrees. The results have once again been fruitful, as a team from Rider merited a top-10 finish at the Small Business Institute Association’s 34th Annual National Conference in Albuquerque, N.M.
Nick Kurowski ’09 of Bensalem, Pa., and Vincent Padalino ’09 of Lawrence Township, N.J., both May 2009 Rider graduates, Alex D’Amico ’10 of Clark, N.J., a May 2010 graduate, and current College of Continuing Studies student Patricia Scheetz ’12 of Pennington, N.J. finished in the top 10 in the national SBI Consulting Project of the Year in the undergraduate specialized project division for their work with Princeton Air, a Princeton, N.J.-based heating, ventilating and air-conditioning business. The Rider group conducted a survey of Princeton Air employees that focused on potential management silos within the company during the 2008-09 academic year, and their report was produced as part of Entrepreneurial Studies course in which the four students were enrolled that year.
Padalino was also the New Jersey Student Entrepreneur of the Year for 2009.
“This is just another example of the outstanding effort done by Rider SBI students,” said Dr. Ron Cook, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurial Studies and Strategy. “It’s a testimony to what can happen when outstanding students work with an excellent client and propose useful, implementable solutions.”
Cook, who is also the director of the Rider Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Institute, said that Rider students have enjoyed a history of substantial success in the national competition over the years.
“Since 1998, Rider students have had 16 top-10 or better finishes at the graduate and undergraduate levels nationally in this student consulting project competition, including a national title and 3 runners-up,” said Cook, who recently finished a term as the president of the SBI Association, but was not involved in selecting the winners from Rider. “The competition is intense, as Rider competes against some schools that require an SBI project in certain majors, and have 30-plus projects from which to select their best one to send to the competition. But, once again, I am delighted that the students’ hard work was recognized, and that Rider continues to perform exceptionally well in this competition.