Marymount University recently hosted the SIFE Regional Training Conference for the Eastern Region of the United States. SIFE is a nonprofit organization that has business leaders and academic professionals help teams of university students apply business concept to community outreach projects. Students learn to be effective business professionals while also making a difference in their communities.
In addition to Marymount, other colleges in attendance included Mount St. Mary’s, the Citadel, West Virginia Wesleyan, and Montana State University (because of scheduling). Depending on their roles and length of time as SIFE members, students attended the 101 Basics, 201 Project Management, 301 Leadership Training, or 401 Career Development sessions. The training goal was to help the students build strong teams, implement their projects, and prepare them for SIFE regional and national competitions in the spring.
Mohammad Al-Hussain ’14, a Marymount Economics in Society major, found the day to be a valuable learning experience. He explained, “The conference has really helped me as a project leader, giving me a different point of view of what it takes to be a successful SIFE entrepreneur. I attended a project leadership course that has helped me further develop my project's business plan, outlining factors such as the scope, time invested, and resources needed, as well as how our efforts will be allocated. These factors have to be considered in implementing a manageable and successful SIFE project.” Mohammad’s team project is Penny Players, a non-profit investing project that resells merchandise from auctions and allocates returns towards charities and financial aid causes at Marymount University.
Throughout the fall semester, Marymount’s SIFE teams have launched their projects and are monitoring them both from a business efficiency and social responsibility perspective. SIFE projects continue through the spring, leading up to the regional competition on April 4, 2012, in Baltimore, MD.