OSWEGO — First, SUNY Oswego senior Brittany Vetter competed with top accounting and finance students across the country to win a berth in Beta Alpha Psi’s Project Run With It competition.
Then her team triumphed, bringing another honor — and a $1,000 prize — to the award-winning Oswego chapter.
Vetter is a senior in the five-year accounting degree program and secretary of the Oswego chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor society for financial information professionals.
Project Run With It is a real-life consulting competition sponsored by the accounting firm of Moss Adams, said Florence Kirk, adviser to Oswego’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter.
Last spring, Brittany submitted her application to enter the competition — including a summary of her research into a not-for-profit organization and interview with a not-for-profit professional.
Her work won her one of 50 slots for Project Run With It competitors at the annual conference, held this year in August in Brooklyn. She said she dashed just to get there, because her six-week study-abroad experience in Japan landed her home the day before she had to leave for the conference in New York City.
Once there, Project Run With It partnered Vetter with students from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and San Francisco State University.
“The competition required each competing team to research a problem faced by a real-life not-for-profit organization and to provide advice and recommendations in an oral presentation to the not-for-profit firm,” Kirk said.
Five teams were assigned to each of three not-for-profits, Vetter said. Her team consulted for the Palms for Life Fund, an organization that fights the cycle of poverty in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
On Wednesday after dinner, they were assigned the problem of how to increase the organization’s operational funding and how to publicize its video competition. Their solutions were due by midnight Thursday. “It was really intense research,” Vetter said, because they squeezed in their work between other conference activities.
On Friday, they made their oral presentation, as representatives from the Palms for Life Fund and Moss Adams judged the competing teams.
Vetter’s team’s winning presentation involved increasing the organization’s visibility and suggested grant opportunities that fit the Palms for Life Fund mission.
“We focused a lot on publicity,” Vetter said. The Palms for Life Fund had advertised on Facebook, she said, but her team believed that people “really all ignore the ads.” The team suggested that the organization use the medium more interactively and do Facebook events. “We also suggested Twitter,” she said, as well as adding more prominent links on the fund’s Web site to its blog and video competition.
Vetter’s achievement is one of a string of successes for Oswego’s accounting program. Last spring, Entrepreneur magazine reported Oswego’s School of Business in the top 15 business schools for accounting, along with such well-known institutions as the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.
And this fall, Oswego’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi once again won the organization’s designation as a “superior chapter,” the organization’s highest award. It recognizes the professional and volunteer activities in which the majority of the members participated regularly and also notes the national activities in which a number of the students, like Vetter, have been involved.
“Our local chapter was officially installed by the national organization in 2005. We have been awarded ‘superior chapter’ status every year since then,” Kirk said.