SIFE Students Learn Lessons as They Prepare for Competition


Arkansas Tech University Students in Free Enterprise members are preparing for the annual regional competition in Dallas next month.

SIFE is an international non-profit organization with chapters on hundreds of college campuses that works to create a more sustainable world through the positive power of business.

As part of the competition, five Arkansas Tech students will offer a presentation regarding several community service projects completed over the year.  The student presenters are Amanda Sparks, Amanda Smith, Timothy Deatherage, Cat Singleton and Maggie Good.

Dr. Linda Bean, associate professor of management and marketing at Arkansas Tech and Sam M. Walton Fellow for the Arkansas Tech SIFE team, says she is excited about the enthusiasm these students will bring to the competition.

She adds, “We only have one veteran presenter.  That might make some nervous, but I have faith in all the presenters because I’ve seen the energy and excitement they bring to their projects.  I think their enthusiasm will shine through to the judges.”

A total of 14 students will be traveling to Dallas for the presentation.  Those not presenting will assist in answering questions at the conclusion of the presentation.  In addition to the competition, students traveling to Dallas will be able to take part in a networking luncheon with round tables and a career fair.

Lindsay Falkenstein, is serving as the SIFE president this year.  She says the competition preparations are hectic but worthwhile because of the life-long lessons she and the other students are learning by being involved.

She adds, “I can say firsthand that SIFE provides its members with countless life lessons. My personal experience has given me resume and interview skills, confidence to network, public speaking skills, leadership experience, and definitely responsibility.

Falkenstein say she and the other SIFE members will be able to use these skills as they prepare for a career after graduation.  She explains, “I am a strong advocate for the soft skills because they are so important to possess in the workplace and in life. They are things that you won’t necessarily learn from a textbook and will be hard to understand or define until you have personal experience to relate to.”

Bean hopes her students do well in the competition but is most proud of how SIFE competitions and project participation helps students prepare for a successful career. She adds, “Practical opportunities such as SIFE really put classroom lessons in perspective, and in the end, preparing students for success upon graduation is the ultimate goal.”