“The Associate” nears final round
Half of the student competitors remain in the 10th annual “The Associate” competition held by the Towson College of Business and Economics.
The competition, based on the TV show “The Apprentice,” has Towson seniors in the college of business and economics compete in teams against each other on a weekly basis. Every week, the students are given a case or business scenario provided by a real local business. Based on their performance, a panel of judges determine a winning team, as well as a weakest player who will leave.
The winning student in this year’s event will receive a position at SECU, which is sponsoring the event.
During the event on March 11, the remaining students, who were already split into two different teams (Team Risk Analysis and Team Quality Control), presented their proposals to the two founders of CarChex. Their objective was to develop ways the company could expand its brand awareness on a budget. At the end, the judges declared team Risk Analysis the winner and senior Robert Grassl from team Quality Control was removed from the competition.
The judges in this year’s panel consist of three top officials from SECU. They included the CEO of SECU, Rod Staatz, the CFO of SECU, Steve Arbaugh, and the COO and Executive Vice President of SECU, Michael Gordy.
The other two members of the five-person panel were Towson University Provost Timothy Chandler and the Dean of the College of Business and Economics Shohreh Kaynama.
Kaynama said she enjoys the competition and thinks it provides good opportunities to Towson students.
“Every year [the event] gets better,” she said. “The quality of the panels and the cases gets higher.”
Kaynama says The Associate is a great way for the University to show the community what its students are capable of.
“[The students in the competition] make me a proud dean,” she said.
Grassl, a Business Administration and Marketing Major, said he was happy for the other team. He also said that he wasn’t surprised that his teammate, senior Tanyea Jordan, would stay in the competition.
“I knew it was going to be close,” he said.
Grassl said that now he is out of the competition he plans to catch up on class work that he delayed.
Jordan said she was disappointed when her team lost.
“You immediately feel like you let your other teammate down,” she said.
The four remaining students, including Jordan, are Glen Rock, Lindsey Linton and Thomas Slemp.
On March 25, the four students will be interviewed individually with two being eliminated towards the end. The winner of the competition will be announced on April 1.