Last year was the first time URI business students participated in — and won — the competition that until then had been dominated by Boston area business schools including Babson College and Bentley University. Their second win this year was even sweeter, with winning team members receiving $350 each.
One URI team defended last year’s first-place title and a second team took third place. All Rhode Island residents, first place team members are: Kelechi Agwunobi, a junior from Smithfield who is president of URI’s NABA chapter; Richmond Sam, a senior from East Providence; Jazmin Tangui, a senior from West Warwick; Brayan Dajer, a freshman from Cranston; and Lukman Busari, a junior from Pawtucket.
URI’s third place team members are: Raven Sannon a senior from Providence; two sophomores Anthony Markey from Providence and Cassie Jacob from Suffern, N.Y.; and two freshmen, Mark Torres from Cranston and Ogo Igwe, from West Orange, N.J.
“I’m really thrilled and tremendously proud of our whole team. All team members did a phenomenal job preparing for this case study competition leading URI to not only taking third place, but also securing first place for the second year in a row,” said Agwunobi. “The NABA executive board and I hope to continue the success in the years to come because corporate events like the Annual Minority Business Conference provide the opportunity to showcase our business talents, which are being developed at URI’s College of Business.”
Agwunobi cited the strong support from Associate Professor Kathryn Jervis, Professor Chet Hickox and Professor Alex Hazera who helped the students prepare.
“These professors did an excellent job steering our teams in the right direction. They also provided an tremendous amount of personal encouragement and confidence,” Agwunobi said.
The case study provided students with data to develop the most creative and effective plan to help a Paris-based company penetrate the African market through its subsidiary company. Student teams spent weeks developing plans considering everything from cultural differences to information technology, cost accounting and supply chain realities, to guide the company’s expansion plans.
In addition to Bentley and Babson, many other top New England business schools participated in the competition, including Bryant University, University of Connecticut, Salem State University, Suffolk University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Bridgewater State University.
Boston’s chapter of NABA welcomes students and professionals, and is a leader in expanding the influence of minority professionals in the fields of accounting and finance. Among its goals are to promote and develop the skills of those already in the profession and to encourage and assist minority students in entering the accounting profession.
The URI College of Business Administration, with more than 1,500 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students, has served as the leader in business education, research, and outreach in the State of Rhode Island and beyond since it was founded in 1923. It is the first accredited business school in Rhode Island (1969) and has the first accredited accounting program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Northeast (1993).
TOP TEAM: URI College of Business team defends last year’s first-place title at 30th Annual Minority Business Conference in Boston. Shown here from left to right: Brayan Dajer, a freshman from Cranston, Lukman Busari, a junior from Pawtucket, Richmond Sam, a senior from East Providence, Kelechi Agwunobi a Junior from Smithfield who is president of URI’s National Association of Black Accountants chapter, and Jazmin Tangui, a senior from West Warwick. (Photo submitted by College of Business.)