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There’s far more to an MBA case competition than the battle among students and schools. While there is plenty to be learned from working under the gun on a dreadfully tight deadline, there’s at least as much to be gained, career-wise, from participating an event that typically brings together dozens or hundreds of very bright, connected people, and highly engaged company representatives on the lookout for new talent.

Most case competitions follow a theme, which can vary from supply chain, to finance, to sustainability, to health care, to real estate. Some take place over a weekend; others are conducted in stages, over weeks. Some competitions are invitation-only, others are by application.

But while the focuses and formats of case competitions can vary quite widely, they all share a dual purpose: to advance students’ business skills, and to help students build connections that will aid in their career development. Many opportunities exist at each competition – often including organized networking events – to interact with peers from other schools, and representatives from sponsoring companies who often use their participation for recruiting.

And of course there’s the cash. Most of the top case competitions have first prize awards of $5,000 to $10,000, but the winning team’s take can go all the way up to $25,000.

Enter a case competition and while learning under extreme pressure, you may win thousands of dollars, make valuable contacts, experience the thrill of victory (or the agony of defeat), even line up a job: what’s not to like?

Ideas on big data and bridging gaps in care take top spots in 2014 BU Grand Business Challenge in Digital Health

By David A Veira
March 26th, 2014 in Grand Business Challenge.

Asking the big questions is only the start. Joining forces with lead sponsor Merck, Boston University School of Management hosted the second annual Boston University Grand Business Challenge in Digital Health, where teams of MBA students from outstanding business schools around the world started answering one of those big questions: How will information technology influence and transform global healthcare to create value for the world?  (full story)

Grand Business Challenge in Fortune Tech

By David A Veira
November 4th, 2013 in Grand Business Challenge.

FORTUNE — Several months ago, I sat in on a case competition at Boston University’s School of Management. The event played out over two days, during which 15 teams of five students from B-schools all over the world — India, South Korea, Canada, but mostly the U.S. — pitched their ideas for a company, one that would revolutionize health care… (full story)

Merck Receives 2013 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award

By David A Veira
March 14th, 2013 in Grand Business Challenge.

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that it has received an ENERGY STAR 2013 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its continued improvement of energy performance and leadership in energy management in both the pharmaceutical and industrial sectors (full story).