In addition to being an accounting instructor and faculty moderator of Creighton’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), an international honors organization for financial information students, Jeanne Eibes, MAC, is a clairvoyant. She predicted Creighton’s BAP team would win the National Best Practices competition in their division. And it did.
Having secured a win at the regional level in St. Louis this past spring, Grace Cabri, BSBA’17, and Joe Kreienkamp, BSBA’17, advanced to the national Beta Alpha Psi competition in Anaheim, California. They competed against eight other collegiate teams in the Best Practices: Strategic Planning division and brought home a cash prize of $1,500.
“I knew they would win because strategic planning is a continual process in business and in our BAP chapter,” says Eibes.
Eibes says Cabri and Kreienkamp assumed the competitive edge because their competitors had a much narrower focus on planning, focusing solely on a strategic marketing plan or demonstrating how analytics provide feedback for planning, then Creighton’s BAP chapter, Alpha Nu.
“What was special is that Grace and Joe were taking the capstone class, Strategic Management, when they started the planning process [for the Alpha Nu chapter’s strategic plan],” says Eibes. “So they learned how to think strategically as they prepared and modified the plan throughout the year.”
Cabri was president and Kreienkamp was Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) co-coordinator of Alpha Nu’s executive team during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Cabri and Kreienkamp say they are grateful for the guidance Heider faculty provided throughout the year and during the regional and national competitions.
Taylor Keen, MPA, MBA, instructor of practice in entrepreneurship and strategic management, helped them develop a strategic plan unique to Alpha Nu. “In doing so,” says Cabri, “we are able to leverage our strengths and opportunities to really transform our chapter into a thriving professional community.”
Eibes, Cabri adds, believed in the team’s ability from the beginning, inspiring them to pursue the competition and giving them the confidence to pull it off. This support also included Eibes staying up late, alongside executive team member Tim Vlesidies, while Kreienkamp edited presentation graphics, updated results and found just the right font for their slide show.
“I can’t say enough about how preparation played a role in winning nationals,” Kreienkamp recognizes. He and Cabri updated their content to reflect Alpha Nu’s progress since the regional meeting, listened to recordings of the previous year’s winning team, practiced their presentation before Eibes and the executive team in the conference room where they would present before national judges and kept their focus while maintaining a sense of fun and excitement to have made it this far in the competition.
The win in Anaheim was not just a great goodbye to Creighton before launching into their respective careers at Deloitte & Touche, LLP (Cabri in Omaha and Kreienkamp in St. Louis). The momentum Cabri and Kreienkamp established is continuing under the care of this year’s BAP officers, which includes Vlesidies, Elizabeth Krings and Jennifer Taniguchi.
“I am really proud of what we did, and I’m so excited to watch how our strategic plan helps the chapter grow and evolve,” says Cabri.
Says Kreienkamp: “I think our Beta Alpha Psi’s leadership embraced the responsibilities of building a strong chapter, and the actions of the executive team flowed down to our newest members. The current executive team has already made some tremendous improvements to our chapter, and their fundraising efforts have already allowed the chapter to plan for some excellent activities this coming year.”
Stay tuned, as we are likely to hear more about BAP in the months ahead.