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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students in Free Enterprise club

The Students in Free Enterprise club have a motto–– “”A head for business and a heart for the world,”” said first year member Madelyn Reynolds.

Reynolds, a retailing and consumer science junior, said “”Our mission is to bring together top leaders to create a better, more sustainable world through business. It’s not just about doing good for the community but about hand picking projects that actually make a measurable impact on people.””

Reynolds and Corey Pyke, a retailing and consumer science sophomore, have been working this semester with TOMS, a Santa Monica, Calif. based shoe company, on a project to sell TOMS shoes and educate the public about Podoconiosis, a disease caused by the thickening of skin and underlying tissues that can be treated by wearing durable shoes. They plan to give 1,500 pairs to infected people in Ethiopia, she said.

“”It really teaches you so much through hands on experience,”” Reynolds said. “”It is also a huge networking tool with potential employers, a lot of companies reach out to SIFE.””

Brent Wolfson, a retailing and consumer science senior and SIFE member said the club is hoping to complete roughly 12 projects by March, followed by the competition they hold annually­­ — a 20 minute presentation outlining all of the projects and the “”numbers behind them,”” Wolfson said.

Wolfson explained that SIFE operates based on the proposals made by the project managers in the club. If people are interested in working on a certain project, they start to meet and contact businesses and organizations, he said, beginning the promotional process.

There are roughly 80 club members and 40 to 50 regular attendees at the weekly meetings, making it one of the biggest SIFE programs in the country, Wolfson said.

“”Anyone who is interested can come and join,”” Wolfson said. “”Some people just show up for events who I’ve never seen before, and others attend the meetings weekly.””

SIFE is working closely with people in South America, Rubaga, Uganda, and other refugees worldwide.

The club raises the majority of its money through fundraisers, donations and grants.

“”It gives us an opportunity to give back to community and volunteer, while gaining experience and leadership skills,”” Wolfson said.

He said he has a great respect for project managers who, although only 18 or 19 years old,  are reaching levels of responsibility they never had before.

Melinda Burke, faculty advisor for SIFE and director of the Terry J Lundgren Center for Retailing, started the team in 1998. She said the club had their first competition in 1999. “”It is an energetic, focused, option oriented group of students,”” Burke said.

“”My goal is to make sure SIFE student network with corporate partners and a lot of them get jobs after they graduate,”” she said.

The club competes on a regional and national level­, and depending on the outcome, they could qualify for the World Cup, Burke said.

This year the regional competition and the World Cup will be held in Los Angeles, Calif.

Want to go?

What: Students in Free Enterprise club meeting

When: Wednesdays 5 p.m.

Where: Family and Consumer Sciences Building 101

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