Quad Cities businesses or organizations looking for exceptional business talent do not have to look far. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) business students have proven themselves again, coming out on top in the prestigious National Leadership Conference competition, and demonstrating why recruiters come to campus to search for talent.
In performances that pitted ERAU against other top national business schools including Harvard and Duke, three ERAU students – juniors Adin Herzog and Jacob Burl, and senior Andre Lamunyon – won first place nationally in the Economic Analysis and Decision Making category.
“I’m particularly thrilled at our incredible first place finish as well as the other impressive Top 10 finishes our students had,” said ERAU Business Department Chair Robin Sobotta, Ph.D. “This level of performance confirms the high quality of our students, the strength of our business program, and the amazing capability and dedication of our faculty.”
Sobotta also praised the other ERAU students who competed in 17 events and placed in the top 10 or better in eight of those events and in the top 15 in four others.
In addition to the first place finish, ERAU students placed nationally in the following categories:
- Computer Applications – 3rd
- International Business – 3rd
- Forensic Accounting – 4th
- Accounting Professionals – 6th
- Strategic Analysis and Decision Making – 7th
- Cyber Security – 8th
- Business Law – 9th
- Accounting Analysis and Decision Making – top 15
- Business Decision Making – top 15
- Financial Analysis and Decision Making – top 15
- Hospitality Management – top 15
Sobotta said of the award winners, “This is an extraordinary accomplishment. Hundreds of notable universities sent their best and brightest students to this competition. Despite the fierce intensive testing, our students performed admirably in a broad variety of rigorous business categories.”
In addition to the tests, students participated in interactive workshops and networking experiences with major business and corporate organizations.
Accompanying the students to Atlanta were Cindy Greenman, Ph.D., program chair; and Katie Green, college adviser. Joining them when they arrived was Christian Llosa, an ERAU graduate who is an executive with Delta Airlines-Air Cargo division.
Sobotta says that the PBL National Leadership Conference is an annual event with the purpose of bringing business and education together in a positive working relationship.
ERAU Students are Winners
Before venturing to Atlanta to compete for national honors, the 2016 PBL team was the overwhelming winner at the PBL State Leadership Conference in April. Competing in 48 individual and team events, 40 students compiled an exceptional 43 first-place finishes and the largest number of total awards (88) of all those higher education institutions attending.
Among competitors were students from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Eastern Arizona College, Phoenix College and others from throughout Arizona.
ERAU chancellor Frank Ayers had nothing but praise for business faculty, who “…foster a spirit of excellence and who support the amazing students at the state competition.”
Since the ERAU business club was established in 2004, the PBL has won 10 straight state competitions in Arizona.
It has competed in four prior national conferences.
“We are very proud of our young people,” said Ayers. “In the end, these students can apply what they have learned to any business-based situation or problem and be assured of success.”
The competition was sponsored by Future Leaders of America. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
Photo by Cindy Greenman, courtesy ERAU