Business Clubs Prepare Students for Competitions, Careers

October 12, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau

Taking business classes at GCU’s Ken Blanchard College of Business involves more than learning to crunch numbers.

Real-world experience is critical to developing confident marketing managers, accountants and entrepreneurs. And KBCOB emphasizes the on-campus preparation required to developed poised businesspeople for the workforce. Extracurricular activities help students better understand the job opportunities available to them after graduation.

Student organizations and opportunities include:

Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge

GCU students (from left) Kevin Knecht, Whitney Richert, Ralph Herberg, Richie Kernagis, Micah Meyer, Alex Dalquist and James Cooney took top honors at last year's Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge. This year's event is scheduled for Nov. 1.

The annual event raises money for the non-profit Junior Achievement of Arizona, which helps educate local young people on economics and finance. GCU’s adviser to the Stock Market Challenge, associate finance professor Ernie Scarbrough, is currently preparing students for the Nov. 1 event, held this year at the downtown Phoenix Sheraton. The event simulates the stock market, so students are required to grow a modest make-believe portfolio of stocks from fictitious companies into a multimillion-dollar portfolio in a couple hours, with made-up news releases, market fluctuations and regulatory issues to cope with. A team of GCU bested students from all three state universities and the Thunderbird School of Global Management last year, and Scarbrough said GCU undergrads also have outperformed graduate students at past events. The event also is considered a major networking opportunity for college students.

“There are a hundred things going on at once,” said Scarborough, who selects students from his finance classes for the competition. “It’s noisy. If you’ve ever been on a trading room floor, it’s just like that.”

Institute of Management Accountants Student Chapter

The “Accounting Club” chapter is led by Associate Professor Donna DeMilia, who has a group of about 20 active students – up from just a few when she launched the chapter in 2005. The parent organization’s groups around the country include the Valley of the Sun’s professional chapter, which provides GCU students with access to a network of experts in various business fields. DeMilia said students experience a reciprocal sense of mentoring. While they get to shadow pros at their businesses around metro Phoenix at monthly meetings and dinners, they also spend time mentoring local high school students on how to save money for college and other finance basics.

“To me it’s been a great support system in my career and I’m just happy I can connect our students to some of those resources,” DeMilia said.


Collegiate chapters of the national organization support future professionals of marketing, finance, hospitality and management. GCU’s chapter includes award-winners from last year’s International Career Development Conference, where students compete in business-related events and have opportunities to network with major companies. Collegiate DECA’s Fall Leadership Conference is scheduled for Nov. 10 at GCU.

Delta Mu Delta

Led by interim KBCOB Dean Kevin McClean, the honors society accepts students with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.6 or better who also are ranked in the top 20 percent of their class. Graduate MBA students are required to have a 3.8 GPA or better. McClean said GCU’s Delta Mu Delta students have discussed doing community events this year, although the organization is traditionally less focused on social events than on celebrating academic excellence in business.

Contact Michael Ferraresi at 639.7030 or

About the Author
Leave a Comment