Beacom’s Business Engagement for Students (BEST) – Sioux Falls is a student-centered, project-based program with Sioux Falls area businesses that provides students with real-world experience and creates a pipeline of prepared professionals for the workforce.

The program was developed in collaboration with the City of Sioux Falls, the Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

The student teams, alongside the business leaders they collaborated with, presented the work they accomplished throughout the semester and received a certificate of participation.

“I got the lucky project working with POET,” Cody Dias, a senior marketing major, said. “The biggest takeaways from the BEST- Sioux Falls project were the networking, the early professional growth and getting to see what Sioux Falls is really about, and proving myself and applying what I learned in classroom.”

Speakers at the event included Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken; Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jeff Griffin; Sioux Falls Development Foundation Vice President for Talent and Workforce Development Denise Guzzetta; and USD Beacom School of Business Dean Venky Venkatachalam.

“The City of Sioux Falls was proud to partner with USD on the BEST-Sioux Falls program that connected the students to Sioux Falls and some of its great companies and gave them some exposure to hopefully land in their careers here,” said TenHaken.

Participating organizations included:

  • Children’s Home Society
  • City of Sioux Falls – Finance
  • City of Sioux Falls – Parks & Recreation
  • CorTrust Bank
  • JDS Industries
  • LG Everist, Inc
  • Lloyd Companies
  • Mickelson & Company
  • POET
  • PREMIER Bankcard
  • Sioux Falls Airport Authority
  • Sioux Falls Development Foundation

“At the Chamber of Commerce, we need to grow and retain more talent here in Sioux Falls and this is a great step,” Griffin said. “The businesses that interacted with the students were blown away by the talent and we're just glad to be a part of it.”

The business school plans to continue BEST – Sioux Falls next year.

“The BEST-Sioux Falls program was a great success for both the students and the businesses,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the USD Beacom School of Business. “Partnering with the Sioux Falls businesses creates a win-win situation to build a workforce pipeline and for students to get real-world, first-class experience. I look forward to continuing this program next year as we plan to make it bigger and better.”

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