Catholic Interscholastic Business Challenge stresses ethics

A team from the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula makes a presentation during the Catholic Interscholastic Business Challenge, held in Keating Hall on Fordham's Rose Hill campus.

A team from the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula makes a presentation during the Catholic Interscholastic Business Challenge, held in Keating Hall on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.

When three seniors from the Academy of Mount St. Ursula made the argument last week, during a visit to Fordham, that MTV television should spend money it makes from the popular Teen Mom show on teen pregnancy prevention programs, a question followed.

Do companies such as MTV have any kind of ethical obligation other than providing entertainment for its consumers?

“There is always an ethical obligation,” answered Destiny Cruz.

Her answer, part of a winning presentation at the second Catholic Interscholastic Business Challenge held at Fordham University, defines the purpose of the competition, which brings high school students from the New York metro area to Rose Hill for business contests judged by Fordham faculty and staff.

“Business ethics was the only category of competition when we first founded this event, and we were sure to include it again this year to further stress the importance of ethical business practices,” said Sal Cocchiaro, a Fordham sophomore and organizer of the event. “We wanted students to take a step back and realize that businesses aren’t simply money-making machines.”

The event started small last year, with 24 high school students, all of whom were from Fordham Prep. This year, nearly 80 students from nine city Catholic high Schools participated.

In addition to Mount St. Ursula, teams from St. Francis Prep won in entrepreneurship and marketing competitions.

For Cocchiaro and his fellow student organizer, John Woeltje, the event not only provided an opportunity to stress business ethics and other business concepts for the high school students, but also gave them a chance to network and put into practice skills they will need for the future.

The competition also allowed Gabelli School of Business students to become mentors to the younger participants.

“If I had to pick a favorite moment, it would have to be watching the finalists work alongside our Gabelli student mentors during the lunch session,” Cocchiaro said. “Seeing the two groups of students finally come together and share in the same mission was truly a beautiful sight.”

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