Boston University has already claimed one Beanpot this month, and this weekend students at the School of Management will try to secure a second.
The 10th annual B-School Beanpot, which pits teams from six local colleges against one another in a race to develop a business proposal, takes place on Saturday, February 25. BU, the host team, will compete against Babson College, Bentley College, MIT, Northeastern University, and Suffolk University.
Four finalists will share a $3,500 cash prize, and the top team takes home the Beanpot trophy. But for SMG students, the real lure is an opportunity to showcase their business skills in front of local professionals.
“Since the judges are all from large area companies, students get to interact with them,” says Tina Wu (SMG’06), the public relations coordinator for the event. “The judges get to see all these students from different schools and how we can apply our knowledge.”
Last year, Northeastern took home the top prize with a strategic analysis of JCDecaux, an international marketing company that specializes in outdoor advertising; the other finalists included teams from Babson and Bentley.
Each school sends two teams to the competition, which begins at 7 a.m. Students receive their cases at 7:45 and have five hours to review the information and prepare a written analysis, which is submitted to a panel of 11 judges. In the afternoon, the teams prepare a presentation that explains their analysis, while the judges select four finalists based on the written proposals. At 4:30, the finalists are named and asked to give their presentations.
“Analyzing a case in such a small amount of time can be very intense and a lot of pressure,” Wu says. “And then having such high-profile judges is also very intimidating, so it can be nerve-wracking. But you get a rush from doing it.”
This year’s judges include executives from Ernst and Young, Genzyme Corporation, General Electric, New Balance, and the Princeton Review.
The final presentations, at 4:30 p.m., are held in the first floor auditorium at the School of Management and are open to the public.