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COB Students Announce Award Winners at Luncheon Ceremony 

Published April 26, 2016

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It’s not every day Eastern Michigan University students get to step into the role of judge and presenter for Academy Awards-type ceremonies. But that’s what happened on March 18, when College of Business students hosted the 2016 Business of the Year Award Luncheon, held in the EMU Student Center.

For the event, COB students not only judged 27 finalists across nine categories, they announced winners with an envelope opening ceremony for each category.

There was much more to the luncheon, of course, including a keynote speaker and a networking session, but events revolved around evaluating and honoring many of the best-run businesses in Michigan.

“It was exciting to put our classroom knowledge into practice in the real world,” says Abdi Mohsenin, a candidate for a master’s of business administration degree from EMU.  

“Students researched all the businesses, analyzed their financial statements, collected their data, pictures and videos, and coordinated with one of our sponsors to make short video presentations on each business’ strengths,” he adds.

After voting, the results were “highly classified,” so even student presenters didn’t know ahead of time, says Mohsenin. Students announced three finalists for each category, then opened the envelopes to reveal the winners. The nine categories were: accounting, alumni-owned business, financial services, human resources, information systems, marketing, social enterprises, supply chain and start-up.

“Some presenters made it more exciting by taking long pauses and drawing out the suspense before announcing winners. It was a lot of fun,” says Mohsenin, who served as a presenter in the financial services category. (1)

After the winners were announced, representatives from each of the winning companies accepted their awards and offered remarks and advice, including the need to be indispensable each day at work, and to strike a balance between being confident and humble.

Elyzabeth Lynn, an EMU international business and entrepreneurship senior, says she was excited to present the award for alumni-owned business at the awards luncheon. “This was my first time being involved in such an important event. I learned a lot and networked with many interesting people from all different industries,” said Lynn, CEO Club liaison.

“The keynote speaker was greatly inspiring,” Lynn adds of alumna Aleksandra Efimova, CEO of Russian Pointe. Efimova parlayed her EMU education in international business and marketing into a thriving international business that makes and sells elegant dance supplies and educational materials designed to inspire dancers to lead extraordinary lives. (2)

“I hope to follow in Ms. Efimova shoes,” says Lynn. “She’s shown me it’s possible to launch my own digital media venture after I graduate this fall—and to be successful.”

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