PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College students took care of business at the first New Jersey County College Case Competition, placing first among six peer institutions.

A team comprised of seven Bergen students won the inaugural competition sponsored by Rutgers Business School-Newark April 1, besting entrants from Essex County College, Hudson County Community College, Middlesex County College, County College of Morris and Union County College. For winning the competition, each Bergen student earned a $300 cash prize and a $300 Rutgers scholarship for tuition and books. For sponsoring a team, the College received $1,000 for its Dr. Judith K. Winn School of Honors.

Adjunct instructor Albert Cupo led the team of students: Andrew August, of Kearny; Antony Gichuki, of Carlstadt; Nile Hagag, of Park Ridge; Aleksej Kharisov, of Cliffside Park; Michelle Ochoa, of Ridgefield Park; Anthony Penna, of Garfield; and Nadia Vaso, of Fort Lee. School of Honors Director Maria Makowiecka, Ph.D., helped organize the group and professor Richard Comerford coached and accompanied the students to Rutgers.

The event challenged students to create a business plan for a retail store seeking to expand globally. Bergen’s team spent one month preparing for the 20-minute presentation and 10-minute question-and-answer session with a panel of business executives and Rutgers faculty who judged the competition. Team members assumed roles in areas such as marketing, distribution, manufacturing and finances.

During the daylong event, Bergen students also had the opportunity to meet with current Rutgers students and faculty to discuss their future aspirations.

Community college transfer students account for half of Rutgers Business School-Newark’s enrollment.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 15,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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