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Thomas College students win international business skills competition

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 3:47 PM EDT
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) -A team of students from Thomas College in Waterville were named the Society for Advancement of Management International Collegiate Business Skills Champions.

Mike Duguay, Executive Director of the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College says the school has participated for the last three years, placing in the top three schools each time.

”Being able to take difficult information, complex situations, boil it down quickly. That’s really what the Society for Advancement of Management competition is all about.”

Also known as SAM, this year the competition was undertaken by a team of three students: Tiffany White, Steele Young, and Chris Paradis.

Tiffany Young graduated last year from Thomas College with a degree in forensic accounting. This year she’s in the MBA program. It’s her second time participating in the competition, which was held virtually.

“Steele and I competed as a partnership for two of the competitions. The case study, the written case study, and the case study presentation.”

Ranging from a detailed analysis of a 380 page report to an 800 question knowledge bowl, the events challenged the students on their business skills and forced them to work quickly.

Chris Paradis, in his first year of an accelerated MBA program, took on the Extemporaneous Speech event. “You get 30 minutes to research, and then you give a ten minute speech after that.”

Steele Young is in his second year of a three year program at Thomas College studying entrepreneurship and small business management. “It was a lot of fun being able to connect with my classmates and being able to complete such a giant accomplishment.”

Paradis hopes the connections he made will help him reach his goal of working in the consulting industry. “The thing that I pulled from the conference the most was just being able to be part of these panels and stuff with actual practitioners from the field.”

All three students say the experience will help them as they complete their studies and find work in the business world.

“Our students are highly driven, but they’re also exceedingly knowledgeable.” says Duguay. “They also understand how to apply what’s being taught in the classroom to real world circumstances. That’s really why this school does so well, but more importantly, this is why these three individuals are champions, and national champions at that.”

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