By Catalina Righter
Once again, the Washington College Enactus team was named a regional champion at the Enactus Regional Competition on March 31 in Washington, D.C..
“I am humbled that these 15 fantastic students allow me to hang out with them, and I couldn’t be prouder of them,” wrote Lansing Williams, advisor of the student organization, in an email to faculty sent April 1.
The team began preparing for their exposition presentations back in August, though some projects have been in progress for multiple years. Williams said the team choses which students will present in February, which gives them about six weeks to prepare for the competition.
“The competition involves presenting a “report” on our projects for the year, the methodology in selecting the projects, and the outcomes,” he said. WC competed against 43 other teams.
Enactus is a shortening of the phrase “Entrepreneurial. Action. Us.” and the organization has chapters all around the world. The goal of the group is “harnessing the power of entrepreneurship to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world,” according to the WC Enactus website.
The student group follows a project through from research to completion.
WC’s team has a history of success in the Regional Competition. “This is the tenth Regional Championship and eight consecutive Regional Championship we’ve brought home,” Williams said. “While there were seven teams presenting at the same time as we were, our meeting room had standing room only, with not only other college team members but a number of advisors, and the President of Enactus, United States observing, which shows that Washington College is recognized as having very good projects.”
The team was prepared for further success at the 2017 competition, but they were “nervous” up to the minute that their win was announced.
Because of this success, seven members of the team will travel to the Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City on May 21. This includes five presenters, a student coach, and a video technician.
Williams said, “At Nationals, our best place was in 2013, winning the first round, which placed us in the top 20 of the something like 280 schools competing that year.”
To prepare, the team will take the judge’s comments from the Regional Competition and use them to update their presentation. from there, the next step is “practicing, practicing, and practicing,” according to Williams. “When we make the final four, our last presentation will be in front of something like 3,000 students and 150 judges, [who are] senior business executives from major companies. We would really like to represent the United States at the Enactus World Cup, which this year will be in London in late September.”
Williams said that the skills students learn from participating in Enactus are highly applicable to situations later in life. “At Enactus sponsored events, training, Regional and National competitions, Enactus partner companies hold job fairs to recruit Enactus members because they have proven themselves as being the best hires. On several occasions WAC Enactus has attended an event and had team members come home with written job offers in hand,” he said.
Students can get involved with the team by attending meetings on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Daly 106.
The social aspect of the club is also valuable. “They are not just my ‘students.’ They are my friends,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better than this.