If students go to college to learn to be professionals, how do they learn to be good people? The Daniels Fund, a charitable foundation, wants to help students make decisions based on principles such as integrity, trust, and accountability.
"There are ethical issues within major companies, within big business and we are the new business leaders of the world," Sidney Finley, University of Denver sophomore, said.
Finley is part of a team that has prepared for two months for the Daniels Fund Ethics Case Competition. Finley, JJ Braun, Mackenzie Mantsch, Montrell Nickerson, Jake Sigmond and Nat Taylor worked together for the past eight weeks to create a presentation as "consultants" to a company experiencing issues of ethics.
The students make recommendations on how to address these issues.
"I think we were all really nervous, but I think that we did well, I feel good about it," Finley said. "I felt pretty confident."
DU's team from the Daniels College of Business is competing against nine other business schools from in and around Colorado.
After having eight weeks to prepare for Presentation A, the teams are presented with a crisis situation and given four hours to create Presentation B.
"The judges are testing us on the ability to think on our feet, our ability to collaborate with one another and come up with solid recommendations even in a time crunch," Finley said. "It's very representative of real life."
Real life is exactly why Sigmond joined the group.
"I'm actually an electrical engineer," Sigmond said.
He's used to crunching numbers, code, and equations. But, Sigmond says he wanted to join this exercise to learn how to run a company ethically using principles like transparency, fairness, respect, rule of law, and viability.
"It's planting the seeds, right, so now we just need to nurture that and then you can foster those ethics for life," Sigmond said.
After the judges hear presentations from all 10 teams, they will announce a winner at an awards dinner Friday night. Last year, a team from the University of Northern Colorado took the honors.
"It is exciting," Finley said. "This is kind of fun."