Southeast Harrison College of Business Student Places First in Statewide Competition



March 2, 2009 – A student from Southeast Missouri State University’s Harrison College of Business recently finished first in a statewide marketing and management competition.

Ashley Malone, a senior integrated marketing communications major from Cedar Hill, Mo., finished first overall in the a marketing management event at the Delta Epsilon Chi State Career Development Conference Feb. 19-20 in Lake Ozark, Mo., and has qualified to compete in the Delta Epsilon Chi International Career Development Conference in April in Anaheim, Calif. Malone competed against more than 90 students from across Missouri and Kansas at the state conference. .

Delta Epsilon Chi, a student service organization in the Harrison College of Business, is an international association of students studying marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service. Delta Epsilon Chi is affiliated with DECA, a similar organization for high school students.

Malone currently serves in her second year as president of the Southeast Delta Epsilon Chi chapter.

The association’s Career Development Conference helps prepare students for entry into professional roles in these fields, according to Dr. John Cherry, professor in Southeast’s Department of Management and Marketing, and chapter advisor for Delta Epsilon Chi.

“Students are challenged to test their skills in several competitive tracks, including marketing management, travel and tourism, hospitality and restaurant services, fashion merchandising, sports entertainment management and retail management,” Cherry said.  “Students are given 30 minutes to prepare their presentations, which they present before judges who are business people in these fields.”

In addition to individualized feedback from the judges during the competition, students sharpen their interview and analytical skills and gain poise, polish and confidence from the experience, according to Cherry.

The conference also provides networking opportunities, Cherry said.

“Many employers hand out business cards and take resumes,” he said. “A few years ago, a judge even stapled his business card to one of our student’s evaluations forms and wanted to hire the student on the spot.”

The support Delta Epsilon Chi receives from Southeast’s Student Government and Dr. Gerald McDougall, dean of the Harrison College of Business, makes it possible for students to attend the conference, which Southeast delegates have excelled at in the past as well, according to Cherry.

“Our students have achieved excellent results going back over the years,” he said. “Just last year, Malone finished third in an international field of competitors in the retail management competition in Atlanta, Georgia.  All our DEX competitors bring honor to our college and University; Malone is one of the very few who have done it for two years in a row.”