President's Column for Traill County Tribune

Business Activity Day, an important annual event at Mayville State


February 2, 2013


The Mayville State University Division of Business and Computer Information Systems sponsored the annual MSU Business Activity Day on the campus of Mayville State University Thurs., Jan. 31. High school students from eight area schools attended the event which included competitions, lunch, and awards.

This year marked the 31st annual Business Activity Day. The event was initiated in 1983 by Mayville State Business Division faculty members Terry Kemmer and Linda Baier. The purpose was (and is) to provide an opportunity for high school business students to participate in competitive events, to experience some type of learning activity, and to visit the Mayville State campus.

Each year, students compete in a number of individual and team written and performance events throughout the morning. Events currently include accounting, business law, , general business, introduction to business communication, entrepreneurship, office procedures, technology literacy, personal finance, spreadsheet applications, business presentation, web site design, job interview, web scavenger hunt, and word processing,. This year the entrepreneurship event was modeled after the “Shark Tank” television show, and for a second year a “game programming” activity provided a non-competitive option for students interested in information technology. Terry Kemmer, MSU professor emeritus and coordinator of the Larson Leadership Program at Mayville State, delivered a keynote address to Business Activity Day participants preceding the event’s award presentation.

Because some of the participating schools are large and others are smaller cumulative totals of awards won by each school are not tracked to determine an overall winning school for the day. Instead, a team game is used to determine the winner of a traveling trophy. Over the years, a variety of different games have been the basis for this part of the day. A game of “Jeopardy” has determined the winner of the traveling trophy during the last several years.

The group of attendees was small when the first Business Activity Day was held, and everyone fit into Mayville State’s Lester Parish Room for the luncheon and awards presentations. The number of high school students attending has grown to an average of about 180 students participate each year.

For many years, the members of Mayville State’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a student business fraternity, provided a workforce to manage many of the details involved. Since the dissolution of the local PBL chapter, the work of organizing and implementing the event has been distributed in different ways. For a couple of years, a team of college students enrolled in a project management course served as the event management staff.

In recent years, Mayville State students, together with faculty and staff, have volunteered their assistance. Officers of Collegiate DECA group assist with the presentation of awards. This year, about 30 students enrolled in the Division of Business and CIS were involved.  

Faculty members of the business and computer information systems division continue to facilitate the day and/or serve as event judges. Other staff members also help out with event judging responsibilities each year. In addition, the event requires assistance from people across the campus. Each year there is effort expended by the custodial staff, dining services staff, information technology staff, bookstore staff, and others to accommodate space and other needs.

It is interesting to note that in “the old days,” organizers manually “typed” every student participant name tag, every test, every list of events, etc. Because of the advances in technology, business and CIS division administrative assistant Brittany Stevenson can now do this work more efficiently through a database. This saves a great amount of time!

Business Activity Day is an important event for Mayville State University.  I am very grateful to all the dedicated faculty and staff members who make this event so successful. I extend my sincere thanks to the Division of Business & CIS for their efforts in making this a success story year after year. Congratulations to all on a job well-done!