UVM team places first at prestigious business competition

Shelburne resident Greg Van Kleeck and Kristin Caron at the Intercollegiate Business  Competition. The duo placed first in the Ethics Division.

Shelburne resident Greg Van Kleeck and Kristin Caron at the Intercollegiate Business Competition. The duo placed first in the Ethics Division.

By Sheri Duff

The University of Vermont Business Administration team of Greg Van Kleeck of Shelburne and Kristen Caron took first place in the Ethics Division of the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBI) in Kingston, Ontario Jan. 2-4. One of the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate business competitions in the world, Van Kleeck and Caron advanced from the preliminary round along with six other finalist schools in November.

The preliminary round commenced with a written submission of a business ethics case analysis in which Van Kleeck and Caron scored in the top five submissions selected from nearly 30 schools. To maintain impartiality, before being evaluated by a panel of judges, the preliminary entries were stripped of any details that identified the schools.

During the final round of the competition in which the team had 5.5 hours to analyze and prepare an oral presentation of a case on Business Ethics, the UVM duo took top honors. The Ethics Division also included the following schools: McGill University, Queens University, Sheridan College, Okanagan College, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“It was only a year ago that a professor of mine nominated me to participate in a business competition. And even more recently that Kristen and I were paired up. So we were pretty surprised by the win,” shared Van Kleeck, a UVM senior. “It was a real team effort. There were so many people that helped us prepare; especially our faculty advisor Thomas Chittenden. We would also like to thank Rocki DeWitt, David Jones, Cathy Beaudoin, Hugh Marble, Marti Woodman, and Dann Van Der Vliet for their tutelage and support.”

The pair’s first place finish earned them an invitation to compete at the 2014 Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Worldwide Business Case Competition in London in March. At this competition, 16 qualifying teams will be challenged to come up with the best ideas and solutions for strategic business problems.

“After winning our first competition, Kristen and I will attempt a repeat performance,” commented Van Kleeck. “Fortunately, the ICBI win provided us with some instant confidence. By March, we’ll be ready to compete.”

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