High School Students Compete in Business Language Competition

PROVO, Utah – Feb 28, 2014 – High school students from across the state assembled at Brigham Young University today to put their Spanish skills to the test in the 2014 High School Business Language Competition.

The event featured 15 teams which spent the day competing and learning about the importance of foreign language skills in business. It was co-hosted by the Marriott School of Management and the University of Colorado Denver and sponsored by the Whitmore Global Management Center, Skullcandy and the Center for the Study of Europe at BYU.

"This competition gives students an amazing opportunity to develop their language and presentation skills," says Laura Ricks, GMC international program coordinator. "It gives them a practical application for everything they’re learning. I was impressed by how much expertise they showed in Spanish."

Teams presented business plans to a panel of judges for marketing Skullcandy Crusher Headphones to the Hispanic community in Utah. Made up of native and non-native speakers, the teams had just over a month to prepare for the competition. Skyline High School’s Alessandro Gazani and his team, Prosegur, spent hours and hours getting ready for the event.

 "We put in a ton of effort and preparation to get ready for it," Gazani says. "It was a great experience and it was rewarding to be recognized for all that hard work."

After three rounds of intense competition, Prosegur took home the $600 first-place cash prize, followed by Skyline’s Sintra team which received $300 and Orem High School’s Descanso team came in third and walked away with $100.

Seth Hawkins, a volunteer judge at the event, was impressed by the language abilities and presentation skills of the participating teams.

"It was interesting to see the different and effective presentation styles and what they did with the product,” Hawkins says. “Their language skills are very advanced and they did a great job."

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems, and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Skyline's winning team, from left to right: Alessandro Gazani, Patricia Calzado and Elizabeth Kaiser. (Photo courtesy Danielle Woodall)

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Spencer Wright