Southeast Harrison College of Business Student Places Third in International Competition



May 1, 2008 – A student from Southeast Missouri State University’s Harrison College of Business recently finished third in an international marketing and management competition.

Ashley Malone, a junior integrated marketing communications major from Cedar Hill, Mo., competed against more than 75 students from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico in a retail management competition at the Delta Epsilon Chi International Career Development Conference April 13-15. The conference attracts more than 1,000 students annually.

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 serves as vice president of fund raising and as state representative for the Southeast Delta Epsilon Chi chapter.

The association’s International Career Development Conference helps prepare students for entry into professional roles in these fields, according to Dr. John Cherry, associate 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 for several years,” he said. “Since 2005, we’ve had a student win first place, another second place, and several students have finished in the top 10 in their competitions.”