Case competitions are one of the hallmarks of a great business school education. An extremely condensed simulation of a real-world business issue, they are a true test of teamwork, ingenuity, and problem-solving—and Questrom MBA students are bringing in the wins.
“We are very fortunate to have had multiple teams succeed in competitions that span diverse industries, competition formats, and business models,” said Greg Stoller, a senior lecturer actively involved in building entrepreneurship and international business programs at the Questrom School of Business. “Our students are consistently earning the right to be in the winner’s circle and we couldn’t be more proud,” he says.
Stoller is quick to point out that students are competing against extremely talented peers from other business schools and that competitions test a multitude of competencies. “Students must synthesize and apply everything they’re learning in the classroom to real world business problems, often either on-the-spot or with limited time to prepare.”
A case for Case Competitions
Andrea Sodano, faculty industry expert & liaison for the Health Sector MBA program agrees agrees that participation in case competition has multi-pronged advantages for students. “Case competitions gives MBA students a great opportunity to be better presenters, better analysts, problem chasers…to get better at creating solutions and putting presentations together that explain those solutions,” says Sodano.
Successful teams must display an excellence in teamwork and communication. “There will be practice sessions until you’re sick of seeing each other (and often me!) and a willingness to take several extremely deep analytical dives into 5-7 diverse aspects of the business case as one cohesive team” says Stoller.
While these practice sessions are necessary to develop the right game plan, students benefit from the collaborative skills introduced early on in the Questrom MBA experience. Acknowledges Josh Stoffel, second-year MBA student, “I believe the core of our success was how well we worked as a team, which is a testament to the focus that Questrom is placing on teaming and fostering teamwork skills during the first year.”
Such competitions also require students to be problem solvers who can look at situations from numerous perspectives. “Anticipating unintended consequences and ways to mitigate negative impacts show depth of understanding” adds Ned Rimer, senior lecturer and faculty director of the Health Sector MBA program.
The opportunity to put into practice key thoughts and frameworks learned in class is the firsthand experience students desire. According to Social Impact MBA & entrepreneurship student Shironda White, “It’s one thing to stand in front of your supportive Questrom peers and professors to show what you’ve learned during your time in class; but to participate in a national competition where the stakes are high, the competition fierce, the audience from around the country, and the judges from across top industries brought in to scrutinize and compare you to teams from other top business schools across the US, really raises the expectations.”
Health Sector MBA+ MPH student Sonali Sharma, concurs, “Getting this “real-world” experience even before graduating from the program is invaluable because it allows students to better understand the types of issues organizations are facing on a day-to-day basis.”
Students also note that participation in case competitions gives them immense confidence that translates to interviews and into board rooms. “I have been able to better shape and propel my understandings of the healthcare industry and better know how I want to work on critical problems within the industry,” says Health Sector MBA student Kendra Wright.
Congratulations to our winning teams:
North Carolina Merck Business Challenge (1st place)
Qiaoyi (Joy) Chen (full-time MBA, Health Sector), Vinay Busireddy (full-time MBA+MSDi), Rajan Agrawal (full-time MBA+MSDi), Siddharth Sood (full-time MBA, Health Sector). The winning team also received $16,000 in prize money.
Howard University Minority Case Competition (1st place)
Michael Veino (PEMBA), Djade Soumana (PEMBA), Myrdell Belizaire (full-time MBA+MPH) and Gerly Adrien (PEMBA). The winning team received $5,000 in prize money.
National Black MBA Case Competition (3rd place)
Shironda White (Social Impact MBA), Rajan Agrawal (full-time MBA+MSDi), Daphnie Pierre (PEMBA), Maegan North (full-time MBA), and Johanna Ortiz Pulgarin (full-time MBA). Shironda White won best presenter. The team won $10,000 in prize money, too.
Henkel Case Competition, Best Presenter
Michael Veino (PEMBA)
National MBA Human Capital Case Competition (2nd place)
Dalia Doerner Rinaldi (full-time MBA), Thuy Phan (full-time MBA+MSDi), Melissa Fernley (full-time MBA), Jodi Lazarus (full-time MBA), Josh Stoffel (full-time MBA)
Baylor University Health & Life Sciences Competition
Kendra Wright (full-time MBA) – Best Q&A, Shivam Seth (full-time MBA) – Best Presenter
Rutgers Business School Biopharma MBA Case Competition, (3rd place)
Himanshu Saraf (full-time MBA, Health Sector), Pooja Bhayani (PEMBA, Health Sector), Kelsey Pickering (full-time MBA, Health Sector), Jianwei Zhang (full-time MBA, Health Sector), Michel Moravia (PEMBA, Health Sector)
UN Sustainable Development Goals Case Challenge, Heller School of Social Policy and Management
Marivi González Biurrun (Social Impact MBA) – among the winners
ACN Global Ethics Case Competition
Vishakha Mysore Vedavyas (MBA) – among the winners