UA students, from left, Liz Alley, Bryonna Rivera Burrows, Jessika Banks and Myles Ward, took home the first place trophy in the 2017 National Graduate Student Case Competition.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — MBA students in the Manderson Graduate School of Business at The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce have returned from the recent 2017 National Black MBA Association/FCA US National Graduate Student Case Competition in Philadelphia as big winners.
Beating out 41 teams from some of the country’s top business schools, they earned the grand prize of $25,000 in scholarships.
The team was represented by Liz Alley, of Auburn; Jessika Banks, of Columbia, South Carolina; Bryonna Rivera Burrows, of Atlanta; and Myles Ward, of Birmingham. Banks also was awarded Best Presenter from the divisional round.
“Our team worked hard to prepare for this case with well over a hundred hours spent researching, strategizing and preparing the presentation,” said Patricia “Tut” Wilson, the team’s coach and director of Manderson’s MBA Recruiting & Admissions. “To return to Tuscaloosa with this huge accomplishment – a first for Manderson – is just a testament to the talents of our students and their willingness to put in the work.”
The 2017 business case required teams to re-introduce a global automotive brand to the U.S. market. Teams were judged on their work creating a strategic vision and operating plan for their dealership incorporating concepts from marketing, supply chain, finance, operations and customer experience.
The Manderson team defeated Purdue in the first round to join nine other teams in the semi-finals (Boston University, Clark Atlanta University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, North Carolina A&T State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Southern California, and Vanderbilt University).
In the semi-final round, the Manderson team defeated Ohio State and Cornell. Finally, the MBA Case Team defeated Boston University and Georgetown in the last round to emerge as champions.
“Case competitions are a grueling process, but it’s all about team chemistry,” said Wilson. “The students worked extremely well together and created a synergy for success. It’s an honor to be a small part of this and share in the excitement.”
The NBMBAA/FCA US National Graduate Student Case Competition is an annual event which gives high-powered student teams an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and problem-solving skills in a formal competition.
Teams are given a business case from which they develop business solutions. Each student team then prepares and presents its case to a panel of experienced business executives. Teams are judged on their analysis of the case, the feasibility of their recommendations and the quality of their presentations.
The competition is held each year as part of the NBMBAA’s Annual Conference and Exposition.