On Thursday, February 28th, 2019, five students from Professor Cynthia Martin’s Senior Seminar course attended the Free Enterprise Marathon hosted by SUNY Plattsburgh in New York. This year marked New England College’s second appearance at this annual business event.
According to the SUNY website, the event was created to give high school and college students an understanding of free enterprise. During competition, students participate in a speak-off challenge, where they speak from three to five minutes on entrepreneurship, and a creativity and innovation competition where teams have to create an inventive and feasible product and present it to the audience.
Prior to the competition, senior student Meaghan Six practiced her speech four times a week for three weeks in front of her Senior Seminar class where she received criticism as well as praise from her peers. During class, her peers acted both as a well-behaved audience, then later as a disruptive audience, talking and being distracting while she presented in hopes that the audience at the event would not be any worse than her classroom practice.
The speech started off as a required class assignment that later led her to be nominated by business faculty members to represent New England College at SUNY Plattsburgh for the “Free Enterprise Speak-off” this past Thursday.
Also accompanying her to the event were Harmony Jones-Duncan ’19, Meghan Korchman ’19, Matthew Lehmann ’19, and Armin Rizvic ’20 who were also attending the competition to compete in the “Innovation and Team Creativity Challenge.” Six also participated in the team event. Faculty advisor Cynthia Martin, as well as Associate Dean of the Business Department Erin Wilkinson-Hartung, were also in attendance at the event.
Six won 1st prize for her free enterprise speech while the group presentation succeeded as well by earning 5th prize out of 13 other competing colleges and universities.
The 12-hour marathon resulted in nearly $10,000 cash prizes being awarded in both categories at the high school and college levels.