Financial Management Association Takes "Contender" Title

Oct. 20, 2014

The Financial Management Association (FMA) team captured “The Contender” title using their ethics, problem-solving and presentation skills in a weeklong competition patterned after Donald Trump’s The Apprentice.

Along with the title, the team won a $1,000 cash prize and a custom banner that will hang in the Lee Business School courtyard for a year.

The Contender Challenge, a daily elimination contest, was held Oct. 13-16 in the Lee Business School and across the UNLV campus. Students completed challenges hosted by various sponsors that tested their business ethics, marketing, problem-solving and presentation skills. Sponsors included Cox Media, Target Corp., UNLV Career Services, and Houldsworth Russo & Company. The competition was open to any registered UNLV student organization.

Alex Lopez said competing in the challenge helped FMA members strengthen their professional skills, business relationships and self-confidence.

“It was the perfect platform that showed our members’ dedication in these areas,” he said. “The challenge measured our abilities to think critically in a limited time period and align a wide variety of ideas to come up with a clean presentation.”

Janet Runge, Global Entrepreneurship Experience coordinator and associate director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said the contest gives students the opportunity to prepare for competition in real-world business scenarios.

“This was a great year for the Contender. We had more teams and more students involved than ever before, and the competition was intense,” she said.

“The judges from our sponsoring organizations were very impressed with analytical skills and professionalism they saw in the presentations.”

Other competing teams included: Conscious Development, Lee Business School Ambassadors, Beta Alpha Psi, DECA, Business 103-Section 2, Global Entrepreneurship Experience, American Marketing Association, Criminal Justice Club and Business 103-Section 11.

Daily Challenge winners received $500 and individual MVPs divided up $250 each day. Following are winners in each category:  

Daily Challenges

Monday: Cox Media Sales Challenge

Student teams prepared and delivered a sales pitch to a potential new client. They had to understand the match of product features and customer needs, overcome objections, and make the close.

Winner: Conscious Development


Adam Fenner – Beta Alpha Psi

Ellyssa Villadoz – Bus 103 -11

Blaze Lovell - DECA

Christian Perez –DECA


Tuesday: Target Operations Challenge

The Target Operations Challenge placed students in the role of store team leader. They were charged with scheduling, assigning tasks, and managing work flow, all while dealing with unexpected situations.

Winner: Financial Management Association


Joe Kuhn - Financial Management Association

Keanu Maui Gevero - Conscious Development


Wednesday: Career Services Challenge

Students participated in a scavenger hunt for the first phase of the Career Services Challenge. In addition to coming dressed for success, students were expected to meaningfully engage with employers to learn about the many opportunities available. The second half of the challenge was an elevator pitch competition. Students had 90 seconds to pitch themselves to an important career contact.

Winner: BUS 103 – 2


Alex Lopez - Financial Management Association

Keanu Maui Gevero - Conscious Development

Spencer Norman - Lee Business School Ambassadors


Thursday: Houldsworth Russo & Company Ethics Challenge

The Ethics Challenge focused student teams on the ethics of a company’s strategic decision to acquire another firm. Students had to demonstrate their understanding of the legal, financial, and ethical ramifications of the alternatives they proposed.

Winner: Financial Management Association


Maureen Sell – Lee Business School Ambassadors

Ryan Fuss – BUS 103 - 11

Brent Buffone - Conscious Development

Ceciley Gallac - Beta Alpha Psi