The UNT College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences would like to thank Epsilon for their sponsorship of this year's Applied Skills Competition. Thanks to their support, there are now five universities participating in this competition, including the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, Sam Houston State University, Southern Arkansas University, and Stephen F. Austin University.
The competition is a semester-long project that calls for students from each university to solve a real-world business problem supplied by the corporate sponsor, Epsilon. After classes shifted to a virtual format due to COVID-19, the final Applied Skills Competition also moved online. Six finalists utilized Zoom breakout rooms for the final poster presentation and were placed in teams of three to solve a business problem with an unexpected twist provided by the judges. After both teams completed their boardroom presentations, the judges chose a top team and an outstanding overall performer.
The outstanding performer Cassidy Wray (UNT) is on track to graduate in Spring 2021 with a double major in Economics and Political Science and a double minor in Math and Statistics. She plans to enter the workforce for a couple of years before pursuing a PhD in Economics.
Gwendolyn Squires (SHSU) is a senior majoring in Psychology, finishing up her senior thesis and working on multiple projects with the weTHRIVE Lab at SHSU. She's applying to graduate programs around the country for Fall 2021, to study Clinical/Behavioral Neuroscience.
Jane Ballew (SFA) is a Political Science major, finishing up her senior year at Steven F. Austin State University.
Austin McDonald (SAU) is a History major, graduating December 2020 with a minor in Political Science. He plans to work with archiving, in libraries, or anything working with history to gain experience before applying to graduate programs in 2022.
The opportunity to get hands-on experience working through actual business problems with other students across many universities provides incredible value to these soon-to-be graduates. Gwendolyn Squires states that even though the competition was virtual, it still felt very inclusive and was grateful for the opportunity to practice presenting ideas to the enigmatic, focused group of judges.
The partnership with Epsilon, along with similar corporate sponsorships, is key to providing our UNT students with a deeper understanding of teamwork and helps prepare them for the workforce post-graduation.
For more information on the Applied Skills Competition, visit class.unt.edu/applied-skills-program