VBS students in California for annual Beta Alpha Psi meeting

VBS students Maria Burns, David Cheng and Jared Cotton represented Victoria University’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi at their annual meeting in California.

Beta Alpha Psi’s Victoria University Chapter members Maria Burns, David Cheng, Jared Cotton and their Faculty advisor Trish Keeper
Beta Alpha Psi’s Victoria University Chapter members Maria Burns, David Cheng, Jared Cotton and their Faculty advisor Trish Keeper

The conference theme for the international organisation's annual meeting, held in Anaheim, California during August, was 'The Best is Yet to Be'.

Bachelor of Commerce student David Cheng competed in the International Project Run With It (PRWI) business case competition, while fellow students Maria Burns and Jared Cotton competed in the Deloitte Best Practices competition for Community Outreach of the Victoria University Chapter.

Project Run With It saw teams made up of members from different universities, interview leaders from local not-for-profit organisations (NFP), and then deliver presentations on how the NFP could best add value to their stakeholders.

David presented to the Laguna Canyon Foundation, which protects and enhances the Laguna Canyon Wilderness Park, and identified key performance indicators on how to best track the organisation’s success.

Jared and Maria’s Best Practices presentation focused on the challenges and opportunities that arise from getting involved with the wider community in Wellington, including how the Chapter is trying to better engage with Māori and Pasifika students at Victoria Business School.

Jared and Maria also participated in KPMG's International Day of Literacy community service event. They visited under-served schools around Anaheim to distribute books and teach students the importance of literacy.

Jared found the community service event very rewarding.

"After three hours of non-stop and high-energy activities with the children, we read them the story Miss Rumphius—a book about giving back to the community and helping others. We then gave each of the students a book that they got to keep. This was really special as some of the children had never had their own book before."

David enjoyed reconnecting with the people that he met at the Regional Meeting in Sydney earlier this year.

"The key value add for Beta Alpha Psi is the connections that you make, both professional and personal."

Maria said she felt privileged listening to the keynote speakers.

"The highlight for me was listening to Jacob Soll, who discussed his book about the importance of financial bookkeeping in the success of past, present and future societies. New Zealand even got a mention for its success in having excellent financial records."

All three students agreed the knowledge they gained from the conference will be useful in growing the Victoria University BAP Chapter next year, adding value back to students, and in planning the Oceania Regional Meeting, which will be held at Victoria Business School in April 2018.

This article was prepared by VBS students and Beta Alpha Psi members Maria Burns, David Cheng, Jared Cotton.