Stetson business majors take second in international ethics competition

Successful debaters — These Stetson University business majors — from left, Alex Overdijking, Megan Christopher, Sarah Klass and Nate Smith — recently came in second in an international business-ethics case competition in California.

Successful debaters — These Stetson University business majors — from left, Alex Overdijking, Megan Christopher, Sarah Klass and Nate Smith — recently came in second in an international business-ethics case competition in California.

PHOTO COURTESY STETSON UNIVERSITY

A team of Stetson University students placed second in its division in the International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC) held in April in Santa Monica, California.

The winning team for the Full Presentation was from the University of Illinois. The undergraduate field of competitors across all brackets hailed from 24 institutions in the United States, Spain and Australia.

“The IBECC judges were very impressed with the polished presentation and argumentation skills displayed by all four students on our team,” said Areti Vogel, instructor of management at Stetson University, who accompanied the team to California.

Team members were Megan Christopher, Sarah Klass, Alex Overdijking and Nate Smith, who were coached by Vogel and Jim Beasley, Ph.D., professor of management in Stetson’s School of Business Administration.

“Preparing for this competition allowed us the opportunity to sharpen our analytical skills and present our arguments in a convincing and persuasive manner. The experience was well worth the hard work, and we were happy to represent Stetson in an international event,” said Christopher, a finance major from Kirtland, Ohio.

Stetson’s team competed against undergraduate teams in three categories during the competition and won second place in the Full Presentation in a division that included the University of Illinois, The State University of New York at Potsdam, Ripon College, and the University of Northern Colorado.

Stetson was one of four universities from Florida, with teams from St. Petersburg College, the University of Miami, and the University of Florida also participating.

“The opportunity to network in a professional environment with students, faculty and business leaders was a great benefit of participation,” said Smith, a finance major from Kennesaw, Georgia.

Teams invited to the IBECC select their own case for presentation at the event. The Stetson team prepared a case titled “Johnson & Johnson: A Credible Credo?”

Student teams were asked to assume the identity of consultants who are offering advice to a company considering how to deal with an ethical dilemma facing the firm. They were required to deliver a 25-minute presentation, a 10-minute presentation, and a 90-second presentation on the financial, legal and ethical implications of the decision facing the company’s board of directors.

“Among the most important things I learned by participating in IBECC was how to better support my arguments with quantitative data and how to be persuasive without the appearance of bias,” explained Overdijking, an accounting and business analytics major from Fort Myers.

“One of the most significant growth experiences was learning to work as a team to deliver a performance of which we could be proud,” said Klass, a marketing major from Madison, Connecticut.

“The outstanding performance of Megan, Sarah, Alex and Nate on this national stage is both illustrative of the capability of our students and supportive of the core values of Stetson University,” said Beasley. “We hope to give increasingly more students the opportunity to gain this kind of practical educational experience.”

- Marie Dinklage

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