Brandywine student competes, wins at national business competition

MEDIA, Pa. — The Penn State Brandywine chapter of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) recently sent five students to PBL’s 2016 National Leadership Conference in Atlanta. The Penn Staters competed in a number of challenging events against other students from around the country, and Brandywine computer science major Sushrut Shringarputale took home first place in the programming concepts category.

According to its website, PBL is a nonprofit organization that strives to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

Before qualifying for the national contest, Shringarputale needed to surpass the competition at the Pennsylvania PBL State Leadership Conference, held in Harrisburg. Shringarputale rose to the occasion and won first place in the computer concepts category at the state level. He also won first place in a team-based entrepreneurship workshop alongside finance major David Spencer, mining engineering major Domenique Avella, information science and technology major Athira Pillai, and communication arts and sciences major Amal Dahleh.

“I got to meet and hear from so many successful people in a variety of fields and it gave me hope that if I have the passion and willingness to work hard in any profession I will be successful as well,” Shringarputale said. “I know that this kind of experience will stay with me and help me throughout my career.”

During the national competition, Shringarputale took a 60-minute multiple-choice test, which consisted of 75 wide-ranging programming questions that were theory-, situation- and calculation-based.

“The competition required us to have a comprehensive grasp of programming languages and theories,” Shringarputale said. “There were quite a few questions that had me scrambling to recollect things I had read about five to six years ago.”

This was Brandywine’s second consecutive year being represented at the national event, as business major Coleman Hart and Spencer traveled to Chicago last year for PBL’s 2015 National Leadership Conference. The pair took home sixth place in management analysis and decision-making. Hart and Spencer currently serve as president and vice president of the Penn State Brandywine chapter of PBL.

“I’m extremely proud to see the way our club has flourished over the last year. We grew from two to 20 members,” Spencer said. “Sushrut’s success is a tribute to the hard work he put in throughout the year.”

Instructor in Business Fran Green, who also serves as the faculty adviser to the chapter, was thrilled to see Shringarputale excel in both the state and national competitions and noted the importance of extracurricular activities such as PBL.

“Clubs allow students to take on leadership roles that help them develop soft skills such as communication, creative problem solving, adaptability and time management, which are desired professional and personal traits,” Green said.