Published 04/07/11

A dynasty continues – Bryant SIFE advances to nationals for 9th time in 10 years

April 7, 2011

As a rookie on last year’s Students in Free Enterprise presentation team, Catherine Kennedy ’13 (East Norwich, NY) really didn’t know what to expect when the team arrived in New York City for the regional competition. 

“I quickly realized what an honor it was to be a presenter,” remembers Kennedy, who was selected to be part of this year’s presentation team. “It ended up being one of the best experiences of my first year.” 

On Monday, Kennedy and the rest of the 2011 presentation team were back in the city that never sleeps to try to continue Bryant SIFE’s domination at the regional level. By the end of the day, Bryant had advanced to the nationals for the ninth time in 10 years. The national competition is slated for May 10-12 in Minneapolis, MN.

“What I believe really sets us apart from other teams,” says Kennedy, “is how much we all love SIFE and how close we are with each other.” 

A positive impact… 

The team members – Kennedy, Mike Banville ’13 (Dunstable, MA), Cristina Brownell ’13 (Audubon, PA), David Keeney ’13 (Sayville, NY), J.P. Sullivan ’13 (West Bridgewater, MA), and Alyssa Wypychoski ’13 (Southbury, CT) – gave a presentation that explored a few of the many projects SIFE has undertaken in the past year including: 

  • Fabric for Success: As part of the Sophomore International Experience, four students worked with a Chinese textile company to create a business plan that was presented to the factory owners 
  • Linking the Pieces: SIFE students created a project to help female entrepreneurs in Uganda. Students will travel there next March as part of service learning trip for a microfinance course 
  • Business Simulation: SIFE partnered with Kraft Foods to put on a business simulation project for 400 fifth graders in Bedford, NH 
  • Green Team: The Bryant SIFE Green Team helped secure $40,000 to institute a campus wide recycling program. The SIFE Green Team also helped promote awareness of Bryant’s participation in Recyclemania. 

In total, Bryant SIFE completed 18 projects in which 270 students volunteered 5,000 hours. More than 11,000 people were impacted by the work of SIFE. 

Keeney, who learned about SIFE through his roommate, says, “The experience that I have gained has already opened my eyes to difference networking techniques, real-world application of classroom lessons, and an overall perspective of being able to market myself for future employment.” 

‘Really energized’ 

In addition to the presentation team, more than 20 SIFE students attended Monday’s competition, which included networking opportunities and a career fair. 

Banville, the other returning member, believes last year’s experience provided a foundation for future success. “I learned that I could give a presentation in front of large groups of people – even executives from around the world – and have the confidence to clearly explain the work of Bryant SIFE,” he says.

Kennedy and Banville were part of a group that traveled to Los Angeles, CA, last fall for the SIFE World Cup. Even though they weren’t competing, it was a great learning experience. 

“After attending the World Cup, I was really energized about the impact that SIFE members have all over the world,” says Banville. “I have found something that I am truly passionate about and the ability to help others through SIFE is very rewarding.”