In 2008 Patty Bishop, director of career development on campus was first introduced to the powerful program for entrepreneurial-driven college students, Enactus, then called SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise). She worked tirelessly to bring it to the campus and found support in the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA)’s associate dean of undergraduate programs, Larisa Genin.
Genin, who strives to continually enhance Saint Mary’s Undergraduate SEBA students’ experience in and outside the classroom saw the immediate value of establishing an Enactus Team on Saint Mary’s Campus. Genin says, “This is a perfect student organization to reinforce Saint Mary’s mission of educating the whole person: intellectually, personally and professionally.”
So on Wednesday evening, April 10, the Saint Mary’s College of California Enactus team officially launched with a reception to welcome new members to its core team.
Saint Mary’s Enactus team is a community of students from all majors, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. Led by two faculty advisors, SEBA professors Caroline Doran and Pat Hogan, participating students form teams and will apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Enactus also offers the opportunity to participate in an annual series of regional and national competitions for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges.
Ryan Summers, president of the newly formed Saint Mary’s Enactus team believes strongly that “this will give students experience to manage real world business situations. The team members will create and implement the projects, do the budgeting, reconcile the financials, and anything else that needs to be done in order to make the project a success.”
To a packed house of 40+ interested students, Veronica Iles, project manager of Saint Mary’s Enactus team, shared some of their successes from their first project, an on-campus recycling initiative focused on raising awareness about recycling, garbage and about Saint Mary’s environmental footprint in general. With that in mind, this past Sunday, 12 Enactus members visited 14 residency halls and collected over 3 pick-up trucks full of recycling.
These types of opportunities allow Enactus members to take the theories they learn in business classes, put them into practice and going beyond traditional books and tests. Summers shared his opinion about this Enactus opportunity at their launch event on Wednesday saying “I think that the practical application is truly one of the most valuable aspects of Enactus and will better prepare students post-graduation.”
So what’s next for Saint Mary’s Enactus team? Iles shared “we have some exciting projects in the pipeline including an on-campus outreach project called “Suit Up” that incorporates education about business and professional appropriate attire while supporting students who don’t have or cannot afford suits on a rent-to-own basis."
To learn more about Saint Mary’s Enactus team, their upcoming projects and how to get involved visit their website, stmarys-ca.edu/enactus or attend a weekly meeting Monday nights at 8 p.m. in Galileo 201.