Students awarded cash prizes in business school competition

A group of five students won $2,000 by acting as a consulting firm Thursday by providing the best solution out of seven other groups for a dialysis services company.

The group participated in the second annual case competition during the Neeley School of Business’ leadership week.

John Baum, executive director of Tandy Center for Executive Leadership, said this case competition allowed students to delve into the topic of individual and organizational leadership.

Dede Williams, assistant director of Student Leadership Programs, said students were supposed to act as a consulting firm competing for a real company called DaVita in order to solve and give solutions, and the judges pretended to be the board directors of the company.

Williams said 40 students were participating in this competition formed in groups of five and they were given a same living case 10 days before the competition.

Williams said the judges made their decisions based on the understanding of the topic, clarity of answering the questions, preparation level, creativity and presentation skills from the students.

She said the team that won first place was awarded $2,000, second place won $1,200 and third place won $800.

She said the Neeley School of Business provided the funds for the awards based on the amount of work students put into the case.

Ingrid Gonzalez, a senior marketing and supply chain management major who won third place with her team, said she participated because it was a great opportunity to apply concepts she learned from all her classes.

Amelia Pyz, a senior marketing and management major, said her team spent about 200 hours together and 40 to 50 hours individually during the 10-day period to prepare for its presentation.

“Our mission was to provide solutions to make the current business of that company that’s already good even better,” Pyz said.

Joe Brown, a senior marketing and entrepreneurial management major who won the first place with his team, called AMX consultants, said he also won first place last year.

Kirk Oliver, a senior marketing major who was also on the winning team, said the reason her team won was because it had a different strategy.

“We focused on two points, while other teams had four or five,” Oliver said. “We only have two ideas and we are going to make them the best ideas ever.”

Joe Brouillette, one of the four judges of the competition and adjunct professor at the business school, said the participants had very high quality and they are very marketable and market relevant.

“The winning team was well coordinated. They identified the key idea and expressed it with enough detail and it was believable and plausible,” said Brouillette, who is also chairman of the board of Delta Structural Technology, Inc.

Williams said the level of students’ overall skills were much higher than last year.

Williams said she would encourage students who are other majors to participate in the competition.

“This is definitely a case they can work with,” Williams said, “It’s not as if it’s just strictly a business case.”