In early October, 85 teams from business schools across the nation submitted solutions for a case competition hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Only three schools were selected to compete in the final round in Washington, D.C., and the Eli Broad College of Business was one of them. The final event was held on Nov. 11 at the Chamber’s headquarters, located directly across from the White House.
The Broad College team was comprised of Anna Kotov, Matthew Reid and Samuel Copeland, all students in the M.S. in Supply Chain Management program. They competed against teams from the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California–Irvine and Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business. In the final round of competition, the Broad College team brought home third place.
“The whole experience was surreal,” Reid said. “There’s an amazing story behind the Chamber, and they do quite a lot to foster business growth throughout the country.”
Caitlin Thomas, director of partnerships for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, spoke on the Foundation’s goal in hosting the yearly competition. “The competition gives business students nationwide an opportunity to examine important issues facing the business community,” she said.
This year’s case was in partnership with FedEx Freight. The task was to examine a business’s direct impact on the community surrounding it. Teams were required to create a fictional company’s strategic plan, evaluating the benefits provided to a community and the impact of leaving that community.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness,” Thomas said. “We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.”
Each team was required to present their findings to a live audience of attendees and a panel of judges.
“We beat out what I thought was 69 teams when we turned in our case, but actually, we beat out 85 teams from 44 different business schools around the country,” Reid said. “Even though we did not win the gold, we were glad to have strongly represented Michigan State University on the national stage.”
Reid also explained how his Broad College education helped him reach this point. “I chose Broad because they are the No. 1 supply chain program in the world,” he said. “I really think we are gaining the best practices and education from possibly the best faculty in the country.”