SBI Students Bring First Place Trophy to ‘The Hill’


Three students from Florida A&M’s School of Business and Industry accounting MBA program beat competitors from Pennsylvania State University and University of Georgia to win first place at a national competition.

Benjamin Evans, 26, from Philadelphia, Antoinyce Eaton, 21, from Raleigh, N.C., and Cianna Reaves, 23, from Prairie, Fla., were announced as the winners at a luncheon Oct. 8. The keynote speaker was singer John Legend. The team spent one month preparing for the competition.

The assignment was to construct a business strategy that would help broaden communication efforts at Chrysler. The team competed against 21 universities to win first place in the National Black MBA Case Competition sponsored by Chrysler Group, LLC. The two-day event with more than 10,000 attendees was in Atlanta.

“This is a real life application, and in class we learned a lot of things about the business and how to develop business strategies to help make a company successful,” said Reaves. SBI Professor of Management Joycelyn Finley-Hervey meticulously chose the students who would compete.

“The key to success is chemistry, and that chemistry is a combination of the team’s preparation, persistence, dedication,” said Finley-Hervey. “If you have taken Professor Finely-Hervey’s class before, she knows what type of student you are,” said Evans.

“That’s why you must be your best at all times, because your never know who might be watching and for what reason. We were chosen because we performed well in her class.”

Evans, Eaton and Reaves received $25,000, which they split equally among themselves. They also had the opportunity to interview with Chrysler. 

“The professional training development we receive in the School of Business and Industry and the support we received from SBI really helped us in the competition,” said Reaves.

“Before we went to the event, we presented our idea in front of faculty and other SBI students. They gave us feedback that helped make our presentation better.”

 “Having the support of the faculty and the dean really made this possible,” Eaton said. “At the conference, we learned that other schools didn’t have the support system we had.”

FAMU SBI students have competed in and won the competition three times in the last five years, Finley-Hervey said. FAMU is the first Historically Black College to win first place in the history of the competition, and the first university in the competition’s history to win two years in a row. Finley-Hervey is excited about the accomplishment and what the win says about the school.

“The SBI program at FAMU has the capacity to go toe-to-toe with the top institutions in this country, and that tells you that we are a contender,” Finley-Hervey said. “We have a quality program that produces quality students that can compete on the national stage.”