College of Business to host annual men’s beauty pageant: Mr. Business

A beauty pageant for boys is typically not short of entertainment. That’s why annual talent competition Mr. Business has become a source of camaraderie and laughter for the past six years for the University’s business fraternity chapters.

“It is essentially Miss America but in the business school and with guys,” said Dan Hardyman, senior in Business and member of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.

Put on by the University’s business fraternity Phi Gamma Nu, Mr. Business is an annual talent competition that brings together the business council and the four business fraternities on campus: Phi Gamma Nu, Alpha Kappa Psi, Delta Sigma Pi and Phi Chi Theta. The benefit, which is in its sixth year, raises money for the Boys & Girls Club of Champaign.

“Mr. Business is basically designed like a beauty pageant,” said Bridget Anselmo, senior in Business, member of Phi Gamma Nu and head coordinator of this year’s show. “Each fraternity and business council nominates two members to represent them and the contestants dance, put on a talent show and do Q-and-A for the judges.” 

Since it is associated with the College of Business, the competition includes a sales pitch in which contestants team up with their partners from their respective organization and have a few minutes to market a miscellaneous object to the audience. This brings the business aspect into the show, but is still done in comedic fashion.

The contest has nine judges — seven corporate sponsors from business organizations, one College of Business representative and one Boys & Girls Club representative. There will also be 10 Boys and Girls Club members at the event. 

There are 10 contestants in the competition, two people from each fraternity and the business council. Although the five organizations differed in how they chose their nominees, they all chose individuals who they believed best represented their chapters and are not afraid of stepping out of their comfort zones.

“You have to be a good face for your chapter and someone you can trust on stage, but primarily someone who can entertain the crowd while bringing awareness to the charity,” said Joe Quass, junior in Business and a contestant representing Alpha Kappa Psi.

The event is known for being a hilarious affair with the boys doing ridiculous and outrageous performances.

“I am known in my fraternity for being very theatrical and sassy so that is why I think I got nominated,” said Alec Shimon, senior in LAS representing Phi Chi Theta.

Shimon said his talent will have elements of hip-hop dancing mixed with a video sketch, which he said is “‘Mean Girls’ meeting ‘The Hunger Games.’”

“My favorite moments from the past are the opening dances and the talent portions,” Shimon said. “I’m going to be escorted in by four guys carrying me on a board to the song ‘Milkshakes.’ I just want to do something outrageous.”

The girls from Phi Gamma Nu compile the music for the opening dance sequence, choreograph the entire dance and emcee the show, Hardyman said. 

Even people who believe they don’t have any conventional talents can find ways to be entertaining. 

“Because I have no actual talents, I am going to be doing a parody of Napoleon Dynamite’s talent,” Hardyman said. 

On top of being a entertaining philanthropy event, Mr. Business also brings solidarity among the business chapters at the university.

“It’s a way to get all the fraternities integrated and an event to get us all to hang out together because we are segregated, but we recognize that we are a collective unit within the College of Business,” Quass said.

“Practicing for the dances, which the 10 contestants have been doing for a month now, brings a sense of camaraderie among the boys,” Anselmo said. “Although it is a competition and last year’s winner was from PGN, the boys have bonded with people in the various organizations, and it is fun to get everyone together.”

Quass said the atmosphere in the room is full of pride in one’s organizations, but brotherhood is prominent among business students. It is also ultimately an informal, fun event where the audience is very involved.

Mr. Business will take place Nov. 7 in Greg Hall in Room 112 and is open to the public. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

“There is always a little bit of healthy competition between all the organizations, and this was just a lighthearted way of finding the ‘ultimate business student’ on campus, while raising money for a good cause,” Anselmo said.

Saher can be reached at smkhan3@dailyillini.com.