by Tahira Carter
The Cameron University chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) held a training workshop on Sept. 17, at the University of Texas in Dallas.
All current officers and potential future officers of the organization attended the one-day workshop which focused on topics such as leadership training, project management, career building and SIFE Basics.
Assistant Professor of Management and SIFE Adviser Dr. Dwight Hite said that the training seminar was designed to help students use the knowledge that they acquired in the classroom to help their fellow community members.
“The SIFE mission is to provide assistance to people in need and the way that we do that is through education,” Hite said. “The idea is that students in any major, whether it be business or psychology, take what they learn in the classroom and teach that to others to help them better their lives.”
Although registered under the Business Department, the organization services to the community are not limited to business advice. Executive SIFE member and junior Multimedia major Kerry Severin said that the group membership needs diversity.
“Right now SIFE is known on campus to be a business club, but although it’s under the Business Department, SIFE is for all students,” Severin said. “We need communications majors, we need the chemistry club, the chemistry majors and multimedia majors because we need skills from all these departments.”
Severin said that in an effort to better fulfill the organization’s ongoing commitment to community service, recruitment has been more aggressive this year.
“SIFE has been on campus for a while, but for a few years it was not that active. What we’re trying to do, especially this year, is build the membership base because without a strong membership base we won’t be able to take advantage of many of the opportunities that are out there within the SIFE community,” Severin said.
Participation in more community events and challenges, such as the Sam’s Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge and the Campbell’s Let’s Can Hunger Challenge, would also increase the organization’s chances of success at the various regional and national competitions.
“One of our main goals is to go to the national competition,” Severin said. “We start within our region and once we are in the top five or three we move onto the national competition. If we become the national winner, we go to the World Cup competition where we compete against schools from Africa, Europe and Australia.”
Members of the organization also get the opportunity to meet with executives from various large corporations at these events. These encounters often result in future job offers.
“SIFE has a network of connections with corporations across the country and beyond. SIFE is a worldwide network,” Hite said. “There are certain companies like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart that go to SIFE events exclusively to recruit for jobs.“
In 2005, the Cameron University SIFE team won a $20,000 first place prize in the inaugural Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The statewide contest included 26 student teams from 14 Oklahoma universities.
Cameron University is home to one of 1400 SIFE university chapters in 44 countries.