Business Students Find Success at BGS Summit
For Aviana Catarisano and Shane Bloom, members of the St. John Fisher College School of Business chapter of international honor society Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), November was anything but ordinary. Both junior accounting majors, the two students received scholarships to join more than 350 business students and professionals at the Global Leadership Summit, sponsored by BGS.
During the four-day conference, which had a theme focused on Stewardship, Enrichment, Revitalization, Virtue, and Empathy (S.E.R.V.E.), Catarisano and Bloom actively participated in multiple workshops. They were engaged in hands-on activities while given the opportunity to network with business school students from around the world.
Prior to the summit, attendees were asked to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, a Gallup instrument which ascertains an individual’s top five strengths. With their profile in hand, students joined an in-depth session on understanding their strengths and how to leverage those strengths to influence their professional and personal lives.
“Discovering my strengths—futuristic and focus being my top two—really resonated with me. I thought, ‘wow I really do think like that,’” said Bloom. “It has led me to be self-reflective and learn how to build and grow more using these strengths.”
Catarisano and Bloom also found the Summit’s team competition a capstone experience. On Saturday, students were given a case study that involved developing a solution to a real-world business problem. Students had five hours to research, formulate a strategy, and create a presentation. They then presented their solutions to a panel of judges on Sunday.
Catarisano’s case study involved re-branding a business and creating a new marketing strategy. As a result of critical thinking and global collaboration, her group placed first in the case study competition—a tremendous accomplishment.
Catarisano said that it was unique to be surrounded by people so similar to her in terms of passion and work ethic; emphasizing that the experience was “invigorating.”
Both Catarisano and Bloom noted how they are honored to be in BGS and to have attended the summit.
“Being in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest honor you can receive in the School of Business, and being at the summit was very rewarding,” Boom stated.
“BGS is really important because it does not just recognize your academic success, but it also recognizes traits that people have,” she said, added that she hopes others will aspire to be in BGS. “Being at the summit is a life-changing experience and I would recommend to anyone in BGS to attend.”