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Faculty say that Bryant students' success in academic competitions is in no small part due to experiential learning that provides in-depth knowledge through its application to real-life scenarios and immersive projects.
Bryant students are top performers in this year's intercollegiate academic competitions
Apr 21, 2021, by Denise Kelley
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Throughout the academic year, Bryant student teams put their knowledge to the test in high-caliber intercollegiate academic competitions against other schools—including Ivy League institutions—regionally, nationally and internationally. Bryant teams consistently earn recognition, often finishing as top performers or landing in the winner's circle. This year was no exception.

The competitions are rigorous. Successful competition requires a mastery of course concepts and theories, sharp time management and spot-on presentation skills. In these contests, which this year were held virtually, students apply knowledge gained in the classroom to develop creative solutions for real-world problems that organizations face. Solutions are evaluated by panels of judges—experienced professionals and C-suite executives from top organizations—who also quiz students during Q&A sessions.

“The ability to think about these real-world implications led our team to take home the top prize.” 

Faculty say that Bryant students' success in these contests is in no small part due to experiential learning that provides in-depth knowledge through its application to real-life scenarios and immersive projects.

Putting knowledge to the test

“The education that our students receive made our team better able to not only identify patterns, but to explain why they mattered and what could be learned from them in a real world context,” said Assistant Professor of Mathematics Alicia Lamere, Ph.D., about the Bryant students' performance at this year's DataFest. “The ability to think about these real-world implications led our team to take home the top prize for Best Use of Outside Data.”

Lecturer of Finance Kevin Maloney, Ph.D., agreed: Student learning at Bryant, with its focus on real-world application, helps students excel in these competitions. “Most business schools preach that their graduates learn both theoretical concepts and the practical applications of those concepts. The Archway Investment Fund program at Bryant University definitely delivers.”

This academic year, student portfolio managers successfully managed over $2 million in Archway Investment Fund assets through the turbulent market conditions in 2020. The fund is comprised of fixed income and equity portfolios. Maloney says that the lessons students took from that experience helped the Archway Investment Fund Fixed Income Portfolio rank highly in competition: It won second place in the G.A.M.E. Forum.

Competition roundup

Here's a sample of intercollegiate academic competitions Bryant competed in this academic year and available results: 

SHRM Tri State Student Case Competition – Bryant wins 1st place: The Bryant collegiate chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a student-run academic club that complements Bryant HR programs, placed first. The Massachusetts and Connecticut State Councils of SHRM and the Rhode Island chapter of SHRM offered this competition, in which student teams present a solution for a real-world HR practice case to a panel of SHRM-certified judges. 

DataFest – Bryant wins Best Use of External Data: At this contest, held regionally by the American Statistical Association, the Bryant team competed against Bridgewater State University, Stonehill College and UMass-Dartmouth. Teams had 48 hours to analyze a large, rich and complex data set provided by an organization, and then create an impactful presentation. Each team was allowed two slides and a few minutes to present to a panel of judges. The Bryant team came away with the top prize for Best Use of External Data.

G.A.M.E. Forum – Bryant wins 2nd place: At the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum, held by Quinnipiac University, Bryant’s Archway Investment Fund Fixed Income Portfolio won second place in the Undergraduate Fixed Income Portfolio competition, a global competition. Bryant's Archway Investment Fund Fixed Income Portfolio was judged against other student-managed fixed income funds and won 2nd place based upon its Sharpe ratio, which is a measure of risk-adjusted return.

Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College – ongoing: In this business analytics competition, student teams practice the art and science of decision-making and test their ability to draw business insight through a comprehensive analysis of a data set. They present their recommendations to a panel of practitioners representing many different industries. Bryant is competing with colleges across the country.

The MIT Supply Chain Management Interactive Tournament: In this supply chain challenge, student teams in MIT's Supply Chain Management MBA program and undergraduate student teams from top institutions competed over four days and two rounds, addressing five real-world supply chain problems put forward by Boston Consulting Group, Benjamin Moore, New Balance, and Girotti Supply Chain Consulting, and were judged by professionals at these institutions. Although Bryant didn’t place this year, the competition was an exceptional experience for the students, whom the judges praised for their quality of work. (Read the press release for results.)

SDSU International Business Case Competition – Bryant wins 2nd place: In this academic case competition hosted by San Diego State University, a Bryant team of International Business students earned an impressive second-place finish in a field of competitors that included institutions from across the U.S. and abroad.

Regional Fed Challenge 2020 – Honorable Mention: Held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Regional Fed Challenge requires student teams to present an overview of the current state of the economy, provide an economic forecast, and issue well-supported monetary policy recommendations. This year the Bryant team received an honorable mention and was a one of a small number of schools to advance to the second round, competing against schools from around New England, including Harvard University and Dartmouth College. 

Sales Competitions – ongoing: Bryant Sales students’ performances were recognized throughout several competitions, from the National Collegiate Sales Competition by Kennesaw State University to the Keystone Sales Challenge by Bloomsburg University to the Northeastern Intercollegiate Sales Competition, hosted by Bryant, as well as RNMKRS, a virtual sales competition co-founded by Bryant’s Stefanie Boyer, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing. RNMKRS is the largest and first competition of its kind. In it, students compete on their phones and have sales conversations with an artificially intelligent customer bot that also scores students. This spring, Harvard University and Bentley University MBA students have joined the competition. 

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