Monday, November 23, 2009

Case Competition!!

Last week, instead of classes, we had a case competition within our cohorts of top MBA students. On Thursday, November 12 we got the case, which consisted of just 6 questions and a link to this presentation: http://breeze.iu.edu/p63094981/.

My team decided to take Thursday night off and get to work on Friday. That was a particularly hectic Friday for me because I had my Kelley Kickoff mock interview in the morning (with Walmart), some hours at my Graduate Assistantship, and the slate presentation that evening in addition to the case comp.

The slate presentation went well, but we found out on Monday that we didn't win the election. It was still a great experience to get out in front of one of the top ranked business graduate schools and share some of my viewpoints. I'm very glad I decided to take part in the process.

Getting back to the case comp...on Friday my team met and mapped out all the questions we had to answer in order to hit on the points that Eaton wanted us to touch. It was about a 4-hour session, and by the end of it we had filled up two white boards that looked like this:

That helped to shape our research. We spent all day on Saturday researching. The core teams are built so that different backgrounds can contribute. There are MBA finance students, MBA marketing students, and MBA management students, and they all can bring something different to the table.

On our team we split up the research and would meet back after 3 hours to give a mini-presentation on what we found. By the end of Saturday we had our basic storyline. On Sunday and Monday we did more research and spent time shoring up holes in the story. Tuesday we spent the whole day finalizing the deck and practicing as much as possible. We had three different second-year students come in and critique our presentation. That way we were ready to go on Wednesday. The first round judges are core professors, faculty, alums and some second-year students. We had five judges and gave a great presentation and then a fantastic Q&A. Our feedback was really positive and we made it to the second round!

One of our team goals at the beginning of the semester was to make it to the second round and we achieved that. We were very happy and decided to take the night off. Then the next day we practiced our presentations some more and went in front of our classmates and the second round judges, who were executives from Eaton, Cummins, and other companies.

We again did great in the presentation and Q&A and got great feedback. Unfortunately we didn't win our cohort, but we were a very close second place.

While we are known a lot for being a top MBA marketing program, this case competition really proved that we are one of the best MBA management programs in the country as well.

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