Rutgers Enactus club beats regional competitors, heads to nationals
Rutgers Enactus advanced to national competitions after placing first and earning the "Rookie of the Year" award in their first regional competition.
Rutgers Enactus is a non-profit organization that brings together student entrepreneurs to improve the quality and standard of life for people in need, according to their website.
They are guided by academic advisors as well as business experts in order to build and implement projects to improve communities around the world.
The goal of the organization is not only to transform the lives of others but also to provide students with the skills and perspectives required for their futures, according to their website.
At regionals, Rutgers Enactus presented the projects they have been working on.
More than 45 teams presented at the regionals and roughly 20 teams moved on to the national competition, said David Shah, a Rutgers Business School senior and president of Rutgers Enactus.
Judges from various industries assessed the team’s projects. The judges looked at all their work, from how much positive change was effected to the revenue increases the businesses now have, he said.
The team prepared for months before the competition, Shah said.
“We measured the foot traffic in our retail store over time in an effort to analyze the impact we made on the community level,” he said. “We also planned and implemented new programs to expand Youth Empowerment Services’ reach.”
The team practiced their presentations many times throughout the weeks leading up to the competition, said Camille Suarez, a Rutgers Business School junior and director of marketing.
“We took breaks in between to role-play and ask each other potential questions for the 'Question and Answer' section of the presentation,” Suarez said.
The team’s presentation combined all their hard work and projects into one story, said Aditi Mehta, a Rutgers Business School sophomore.
The presentation described the struggles the Holy Shirt Thrift Shop women faced in order to maintain revenue to keep the Five Loaves Food Pantry alive, as well as the difficulties Barry and his team faced at Youth Empowerment Services to improve the livelihoods of people, Mehta said.
The team felt successful after becoming regional champion, Shah said. It was not only because of the extensive work and time they put into the projects but also because of the lives they have impacted for the better.
The next step for the team is moving on to nationals and implementing more creative solutions to the businesses they consult for, Shah said. They are also looking into new and innovative ways to increase their impact on local communities.
“Rutgers Enactus hopes to create a larger and longer lasting impact in our community and in the world in the spirit of Rutgers University’s revolutionary legacy,” said Justin Liu, a Rutgers Business School junior and vice president of Rutgers Enactus.
Moving forward toward nationals, the team is working together to ensure the numbers and actions presented will be even more impressive and impactful than the ones from regionals, said You Wo, a Rutgers Business School senior and co-director of recruitment.
The team is thankful to have such a passionate team and supportive school behind them, Shah said.
To move on to represent Rutgers University on a national stage was an honor, said Tiffany Fong, a Rutgers Business School first-year student.
“As a new chapter, traveling to compete alongside about 50 other teams for the first time was already an amazing opportunity," Fong said.
Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in journalism and media studies. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.