Two IU East SIFE students invited to New York for 2012 Partner Summit

February 1st, 2012

Brittany Hostetler and Rick McKinney have been selected by Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) USA to attend the 2012 Partner Summit in New York City February 7-10. They are two of 30 students invited to meet with President and CEO of Sam’s Club Brian Cornell and President and CEO of Walmart International Doug McMillon in the Time-Life Building.

Both are seniors at IU East studying business administration. Hostetler is from Camden, Ohio, and McKinney is from Eaton, Ohio.

SIFE’s Partner Summit brings together students, business partners, and staff leadership for strategic discussion and networking.

While there, Hostetler and McKinney will participate in the “Top-of-the-Future-Top” Forum on February 8. They will also get to visit the New York Stock Exchange on February 9 and talk with a group from Habitat for Humanity New York City about the SIFE team’s birdhouse project on February 10.

Hostetler is the SIFE team president at IU East.

“I am looking forward to everything I will learn on this trip. From spending time at the SIFE summit with big company CEOs like Walmart to witnessing how the New York Stock Exchange works, I know I will gain valuable knowledge I can apply to my academics and career,” Hostetler said.

The “Top-of-the-Future-Top” Forum connects SIFE students with company executives in partnership with SIFE U.S.A. to discuss issues or problems and to present possible solutions.

“Students are able to give their opinion and insight based off of their experiences with SIFE, SIFE’s partner companies, and business experiences in general. For example, IU East’s SIFE team has worked with the partner company Lowes and Habitat for Humanity to create a workshop in which the attendees learn about entrepreneurship, how to make birdhouses, and how making birdhouses is relevant to entrepreneurship,” Hostetler said.

McKinney received a Jules and Gwen Knapp Ambassador Scholarship in June 2011. The national scholarship recognizes the leadership, teamwork and communication skills developed in SIFE students. As a recipient, McKinney is a Knapp SIFE Student Leader and represents the organization on campuses.

“When I selected a university to start my career I felt strong about coming to IU East. It’s when I started in the entrepreneurship program and joined SIFE that I realized IU East was the best university for me,” McKinney said. “The visit to Habitat for Humanity New York City and to stand on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange are opportunities and experiences that far exceed my dreams and expectations.”

The SIFE team at IU East is advised by Tim Scales, lecturer in business administration and the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. Scales, who is also a Sam Walton Fellow, said he is extremely pleased and excited to have two IU East business students participate in this opportunity.

“SIFE has 57,000 students in their programs in the United States, so to have two of our students selected in the top 30 is something we definitely need to acknowledge. SIFE is supported primarily by the Fortune 50, or what would be considered the Top 50 businesses within the United States,” Scales said. “The SIFE program at IU East is open to all disciplines and the achievements of the IU East SIFE team have brought us worldwide recognition. This is a great opportunity for Brittany and Rick to witness business hands-on.”

SIFE is a nonprofit organization that gives students the tools to learn the free enterprise system in a real working situation. SIFE challenges students on more than 1,500 college campuses nationwide to take what they’re learning in the classroom and use their knowledge to better their communities.

For more information, contact the IU East School of Business and Economics at (765) 973-8343.

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