Rider business students are finalists in national consulting competition
Two teams of Rider University students, one graduate and one undergraduate, have made the national finals in the national Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year (POY) competition, which recognizes the best student consulting projects from schools around the country. Both teams are in the running for a national title and are guaranteed to finish at least in third place. “This competition is intense, and I can appreciate the quality of the projects submitted and the effort students make to reach this level,” says Dr. Ron Cook, director of Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Small Business Institute (SBI) and associate dean in the College of Business Administration.
Since 2009, nine Rider graduate teams have finished in the top four, including two first-place finishes. Since 2010, Rider undergraduate teams have finished in the top 10 eight times, including one national championship and three third-place finishes. Overall, not yet counting this year’s finish, the University has had 30 top 10 or better winners in both graduate and undergraduate categories.
The accolades are especially impressive when noting that Rider competes against other universities that require an SBI project in certain majors or programs, meaning Rider students’ projects are evaluated next to schools with more than 25 high-quality potential entries.
“Our record shows that our students can compete with anybody,” Cook says. “This year’s winners are excellent students and a wonderful example of the best Rider has to offer.”
The graduate students were Kyle Anacker ’17 and Constantine Kodersha ’17, both of Rider's Master of Business Administration program, and Tara Ricco ’16 of the Master of Accountancy program. They produced the consulting report as part of Cook’s graduate consulting class in the Fall 2016 semester. In the course, students act as consultants to small firms/organizations and their project report is now being recognized for its excellence. The client was Sheltered Yoga, a nonprofit organization that helps improve the mental and behavioral health and wellness of ‘at-risk’ individuals. The students developed improvements in the areas of fundraising, marketing, and pricing structure for the organization.
The undergraduate students were John Gleavy ’17, an information systems major, and Andrew Gordon ’17, who majored in entrepreneurial studies and marketing. They produced the consulting report as part of Cook’s undergraduate consulting class in the Fall 2016 semester. As noted above, students act as consultants to small firms/organizations and their report is also being recognized for its excellence. The client was Cook’s Recreation Motorsports (no relation to Ron Cook), a franchised dealer of snowmobiles, ATVs and UTVs. The students investigated the feasibility of adding one of three new product lines to the dealership: street-legal motorcycles, personal watercraft or lawn and garden equipment.