Leaders in Ledges: Business students earn a top spot in ethics competition

March 04, 2024

Four students dressed in suits stand together and pose.

Resident assistants John Cichonski ’25, MBA ’26; Jake Iby ’24, MBA ’25; and Evan Croteau ’25, MBA ’26, along with their resident, Adam Zujewski ’26, MBA ’27, recently finished second in the Michael Smith Business Ethics Case Competition in Rhode Island.

The group of accelerated-degree business students assembled a team for this competition to challenge themselves academically and gain professional experience in their field.

“As 3+1 business RAs, we strive to develop both our residents and each other as future business professionals and global citizens,” said Iby. “We have built a tight-knit community of passionate, creative and immensely intelligent innovators and future leaders. This case competition provided us with the opportunity to prove that on a competitive international level.”

The living-learning community in Ledges has helped the four Bobcats establish strong connections with one another and bond as a team.

During the competition, teams from around the world were tasked with examining their cases during a two-week period prior to the event and then presenting their analysis to judges.

Their team analyzed the potential use cases and risks of artificial intelligence and determining the necessity of regulation and its impacts.

“I oversaw the part of our presentation that had to deal with how AI regulations would affect different parts of the AI industry such as a company’s global competitiveness, the public's view of AI, and how regulations could cause innovative slowdown within the industry,” said Zujewski.

As the competition progressed, several schools were eliminated leading up to the finals, as Quinnipiac secured a spot among the top three teams. 

Assistant director of student services and an adjunct professor of business Kyle Trusch '19 was the team's case adviser and guided the students in their approach to the case and presentation. The alumnus shared his previous experiences at similar competitions with the group.

“Jake, Evan, John and Adam are incredibly bright, motivated and all-around exceptional students, which made my job as an adviser incredibly easy,” said Trusch. “Each time we met leading up to the event, they came prepared with excellent insights and thoughtful questions to help refine their approach to what was a very challenging case. The team did a fantastic job breaking the ethical dilemmas associated with using AI while building up their recommendations to maximize the benefits of AI while mitigating risks.

Ultimately, the team took home a second-place win.

“While first place would have been nice, second place was still an amazing feeling,” said Cichonski. “It was a mixture of joy and relief that our hard work and research showed through as the top two of this competition. We were also told by the runners of the tournament in both the preliminaries and the finals that it was a very hard deliberation on behalf of the judges, so we at least gave the first-place winners a run for their money.”

The Bobcats plan to use their experience to propel them forward in future professional endeavors.

“I am confident this award will stick with them throughout their time at Quinnipiac and beyond,” said Trusch. “The second-place finish further confirmed what I, and many of my colleagues in the School of Business, already knew to be true: These students are shining examples of what it means to be a student in the School of Business and a representative of Quinnipiac."

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