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Student Competitive Award


This $500 program award is a competitive award for all the full-time students enrolled in the business degree program at Penn State New Kensington.



Students who are eligible to compete for this award must be enrolled full time in the campus business degree program or in their final semester completing internship.  They must have completed at least 30 credits toward the degree and are currently enrolled in their third or greater semester of the program. Their current cumulative grade-point average must be 2.5 or higher.



The primary consideration in granting the award is the quality of the student’s paper on the topic “Why I chose business program and my career development plan”. The paper length should be 600 – 800 words. The award selection committee will review the papers on the basis of writing skills, organization of paper, and creativity. Students must submit a typed (electronic copy in MS Word) paper by email attachment to Dr. Yang XU at yux4@psu.edu by September 18th, 2015. The award recipient student will be notified no later than September 30th, 2015. The student must agree to have the paper published on campus publications and media and provide a current electronic photograph of the student to be published with the paper. Questions should be directed to Dr. Yang XU at yux4@psu.edu.

Samantha Simon, BSB Student

2014 Award winning Essay

Samantha Simon
BA 321
Student Competitive Award

September 22, 2014

            In high school, I wanted to be a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher, and an artist. I wanted to do something “fun and exciting”. These fantasies were nice to have in high school, because at the time, they gave me a sense of “knowing” what I wanted to do. However, it wasn’t until my visit to Penn State New Kensington that I figured out what exactly it was that I wanted to do. The business program at Penn State New Kensington appealed to me for various reasons. Penn State New Kensington was a relatively smaller school, it was close to home, and doesn’t cost nearly as much as I was expecting. These were all huge plusses in my eyes. But why did I choose the business degree program? Opportunity. I felt that majoring in business would open doors for me that no other major could, in terms of job stability and salary. While all of my other previous career dreams were based on insignificant experiences in high school, enrolling in the business degree program at Penn State New Kensington felt like, for the first time, I was on the right track to my future. I remember being on campus for the first time, hearing alumni talk about interning for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers and thinking to myself how amazing those opportunities would be. Considering that I have never really been out of Armstrong County, I wanted as many new opportunities as I could possibly have. I jumped right into the program full-heartedly, and am so happy that I did. I have never been as passionate about anything ever before as I am about completing my degree.

After completing the business degree program here at Penn State New Kensington, I plan on acquiring a job as a sales representative. It may seem like a silly aspiration; however, I feel that my education and previous work experience as a server has prepared me to be successful in this field of work. I also enjoy communicating with people, and working around my own schedule. My long-term goal is to become a director of marketing for a prestigious firm. Between my short and long term goals, I plan on continuing my education. I would like to receive my MBA from Penn State as well, with an even stronger focus in marketing. I am fascinated by marketing because I feel as though so much creativity and thought goes into every effort that is made within decisions in relation to marketing. Throughout my career, I plan on taking advantage of as many research opportunities as I can. I feel like performing research and developing new methods and ideas is what separates the good from the great, and I want to be great. I feel as though I will be successful throughout my career, because my passion is what will be driving me.

I have taken into consideration that there may be various complications in achieving my goals. For example, most jobs in my desired field of work require a decent amount of travel or sometimes even relocation. Even though I do plan on having a family, I will be willing to travel for my career. Other issues such as difficulties finding employment may prove to be a challenge, and to overcome these challenges I plan on being persistent and patient. In addition, I feel as though my degree and accomplishments will differentiate me from my competitors. This differentiation could not have been possible if I hadn’t made the decision to come to Penn State and enroll in the business program.

In conclusion, I feel as though I have a long road ahead of me to achieve my career development goals. I understand that this means I still have a large amount of time and work to complete before I can reach what I understand to be my full potential. However, I feel that I have the competencies required to achieve this goals. Once again, my passion for my major is a huge motivator that allows me to achieve my goals. I am so happy that I have taken the path that I have so far, and am looking forward to bettering myself from here on out.