Nichols Business Students Place in Top 4 at Annual Negotiation Competition


WACO, Texas—A team of Nichols College students won fourth place at the annual Baylor Business Negotiation Competition April 6, 2018, at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business.

Participating were junior marketing majors Ian Spencer of Hawthorne, N.J., and Benjamin Campbell of Duluth, Minn.; and sophomore finance major Vincent Crivello of Rosemere, Quebec, Canada.

The competition—which is the only one of its kind in the United States—is for undergraduate business majors and focuses on building negotiating skills among future business leaders. Student teams compete in three rounds of realistic business negotiation role-plays against another student team and receive feedback from business professional judges. The best teams across the first two rounds, as determined by the panel judges, advance to the final round. Each round includes approximately 35 minutes of role-play and 15 minutes of oral feedback from the judges.

This year, the competition featured 12 schools, including Babson College of Wellesley, Mass., which finished in seventh place. There was also international turnout with Canada’s McGill University and South Korea’s SolBridge International School of Business.

According to Assistant Professor of Management/Management Program Chair Leonard Samborowski, who served as the team’s advisor, the Nichols students learned valuable, resume-building skills in business negotiation and conflict resolution; received feedback from business professionals with experience in negotiation; and engaged with a community of faculty coaches teaching negotiation.

“This was our first time participating in the Baylor competition,” he said. “Ben, Vincent, and Ian are commended for their outstanding performance as representatives of the best of Nichols College.”

The three Nichols students said they were grateful for the experience.

“Thanks to the Baylor University Business Negotiation Competition, I have the skill and confidence to negotiate business deals, present complex cases, and be a young professional,” said Crivello. “I loved negotiating because of the high-pressure situations that have me thinking in the present and trying to balance my adrenaline and wits for the benefit of my team.”

Spencer said that the experience taught him how to professionally negotiate contracts and deals, as well as to meet people from all over the world. He said he likes the competitive aspect of negotiation and considers it a form of art.

“You have to determine how to come out of a negotiation deal with what is most important to you,” he explained. “Negotiation is an important skill to know when bringing in outside corporations, dealing with potential contract disputes, or figuring out a merger.”

Campbell pointed out that he’s learned that in a negotiation, one’s job is not to win, per say, but rather for both parties to agree on a mutually beneficial situation to ensure a fruitful business partnership.

“I like that negotiation requires you to think on your feet and to play off the party,” he said. “You don’t necessarily know what the other side wants or needs, and it was fun to go back and forth trying to come to a middle ground that was equally beneficial.

“I absolutely believe that the skill of negotiation will help me in my future career,” added Campbell. “In business, you are constantly negotiating with business partners, landlords, clients, and peers. It Is also a skill I can use when entering the workforce pertaining to my starting salary.”


Lorraine U. Martinelle is Nichols College’s director of public relations and social media. To submit a story to Heard on the Hill, please email

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