Hard work takes the prize...

Hard work takes the prize...

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Costa Rica Business story




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Kayla Allen, center, and Victoria Kinchen review their prize-winning paper and display their Outstanding Research Award plaques with their marketing professor Michael Budden.


Victoria Kinchen and Kayla Allen, MBA Graduate Students

Michael Budden, Professor of Marketing



When Victoria Kinchen of Hammond and Kayla Allen of Franklinton registered for a graduate-level business research course, they expected to research and write a paper for a grade. They never imagined their class performance would earn them a trip to an international conference and a prestigious research award.


But marketing professor Michael Budden upped the ante. He told his students he would submit the top papers to the Global Business and Finance Research Conference and that the three student research groups would be selected to attend the conference in San Jose, Costa Rica.


“We wanted to push the students to a new level and hopefully get them published in an academic journal,” Budden said. Kinchen and Allen decided to investigate the learning processes and financial management skills of university students.


Their hard work on a research paper
for a graduate level business research
course won Kayla Allen and Victoria
Kinchena trip to an international
conference and a prestigious
research award.

“We found that younger generations learn how to manage their money primarily from their parents,” said Kinchen. “This method has proven unsuccessful for learning basic skills such as balancing a checkbook and using credit cards.”

Allen said most students were not managing their finances as well as they thought to the possible detriment of their credit scores and interest rates.

“We recommend that high schools and universities work on initiatives to teach formal finance classes as part of the required curriculum so we don’t get stuck with the situation where people are losing a battle with their finances,” said Kinchen.

Kinchen and Allen were selected by Budden -- along with Janet Foster Anthony of Ponchatoula, Holly Syrdal of Mandeville and Ashley Wozniak of Tickfaw -- to make the coveted conference trip. And, to their delight and Budden’s -- their “prizes” did not stop there.


The students won one of the conference’s prestigious Outstanding Research Awards, selected from among 300 papers submitted by faculty from institutions such as Harvard, Bowling Green and Southeastern. Their winning paper will be published in the Global Journal of Business and Finance.


“Going to the conference and meeting professors from other universities really clarified to me that Southeastern is a great university,” said Kinchen. “The respect that was given to us and the Southeastern faculty made me proud to call Southeastern home.” “Everyone was really excited to see us there and it was very nice to be acknowledged,” said Allen.


Budden said he was not surprised by his students’ success. “We have some incredible students in our college,” he said. “They are a motivated group that got out there and did it. I was really impressed by the whole process. Everyone rose to the occasion and did an outstanding job. I’m looking forward to what other students will accomplish in the future.”

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