Rider business students earn top two spots in national consulting competition

College of Business Administration boasts more than 30 wins in Small Business Institute competition
Rachel Stengel '14

Two Rider student teams earned top spots in the national Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year competition. Rider's undergraduate team placed first, while the graduate team claimed second place in the experiential-learning-based competition.

Students were paired with local small businesses and served as consultants. The groups worked with their clients for months, helping CEOs solve problems and analyze opportunities among all areas of business.

"They are excellent students and a wonderful example of the best that we offer in the College of Business Administration," says Dr. Ron Cook, director of Rider’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate dean in the College of Business Administration. "This competition is intense as Rider competes against some schools that require a Small Business Institute project in certain majors or programs. Our students continue to demonstrate their business prowess among some of the top business schools in the country."

The first-place undergraduate group consisted of John Gleavy ’17 and Andrew Gordon ’17, who worked with Cook’s Recreation Motorsports, 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.

Kyle Anacker ’17, Constantine Kodersha ’17 and Tara Ricco ’16 made up the second-place graduate team. They worked with Sheltered Yoga, a nonprofit that helps improve mental and behavioral health and wellness for at-risk individuals. Their recommendations focused on fundraising, marketing and pricing structure for the organization.

The competition is a prime example of civic and community engagement through the University's Engaged Learning Program. Students must employ their business knowledge learned in the classroom to assist real-world organizations, deepening their practical skills and consulting expertise.

Since 1998, Rider students have earned 32 top 10 or better finishes in the Small Business Institute Consulting Project of the Year competition. Their accolades include five national titles, six second-place wins and five third-place finishes.