By Caroline Brooks
Big Ten schools might not have made their way into the NCAA Final Four tournament, but MBA students from the conference opted for their own March Madness competition. On March 31, Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA students traveled to Ohio State University’s campus to partake in the aggressive B1G Case Competition.
At the crack of dawn Friday morning, competitors suited up and received the live business case from the corporate sponsor, with just 23.5 hours to work as a team to prepare in-depth analyses, slide deck, and presentation before submitting it. With only four hours of sleep, teams presented their cases before a panel of judges who grilled each team on strategies and procedures.
“The students had never worked together as a team before, and a 24-hour case competition is not only grueling, but quite an accomplishment. The Broad team brought numerous new ideas for growth, were quick to deliver excellent responses to judges’ questions, and had a great grasp of details,” said Glenn Omura, associate dean for MBA and professional master’s programs and Broad team advisor. “I was proud of our team’s analysis. They had creative, strategic, and analytical ideas synthesized into an overall strategy for growth,” he said.
Representing the Spartans was a team of first-year MBAs nominated by Broad College faculty: Mohamed Hrezi, Lucas Knox, Samarth Mungali, and Nanci Sethi. Competing teams included Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, Purdue University, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, University of Iowa, Washington University at St. Louis, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Nebraska. The corporate case sponsor was Installed Building Products (IBP), the nation’s second-largest installer of new residential insulation, which just successfully launched an IPO of $1 billion dollars of annual revenue. Judging the competition were IBP CFO Michael Miller and President of External Affairs W. Jeffrey Hire, and Lisa Garling, Director of SunTrust Bank, a case competition financial sponsor.
While the Spartans did not bring home a winning trophy, judges commended the team for its strategy and awarded team member Hrezi with “best presenter” accolades. Looking ahead, Omura said Broad will finalize its starting team roster earlier in the academic year for more optimal tournament play (not unlike plans of B1G Ten basketball coaches).