Broad Spartans are known for their ability to collaborate and innovate, welcoming new challenges and opportunities to make business happen. For two consecutive years, three Broad women have kept this legacy alive at the Raytheon Technologies Invitational Case Competition.

The competition, which began in 2020, awards $21,000 and internships to select supply chain and operations students studying at the nation’s top-tier business schools. Broad Spartans have landed in the winner’s circle since the case competition’s inception.

This year’s competition, hosted by the Center for Supply Chain Innovation at the TCU Neeley School of Business on Oct. 7–9, featured a total of 34 undergraduate and MBA students. What makes this competition unique is that teams are assigned randomly, and students from different schools are expected to bring their own strengths to the table and successfully collaborate together.

“When seeking out candidates, I consider a number of factors, including their ability to define problems, causes, symptoms versus root causes, and their analytical capabilities to make sense of the situation and create solutions to the problem,” Michael Thibideau, fixed-term faculty in the Department of Supply Chain Management, who assists in nominating students, said.

This year, supply chain management senior Julie Liu was chosen by Thibideau to represent MSU at the competition, and her team stood out. Liu’s team placed second, receiving a grand prize of $3,500.

“We worked tirelessly for 15 hours the day we were given the case. It was exhilarating to know we were finalists in the competition and so rewarding to see we placed second overall,” she said.

“The biggest challenge was finding a viable solution within our time constraint. There were many factors we had to take into consideration to ensure our recommendation would be effective,” Liu said when asked about challenges that arose. “To overcome these challenges, we collaborated and applied individual strengths to achieve the team’s overall goals.”

In the event’s inaugural year, two Broad women also earned a spot in the winner’s circle. In 2020, Julia Hojnaski (B.A. Supply Chain Management ’21) was on the second-place team and received $7,500, split among members of the case study group. In addition, Esther Ma (MBA ’21) placed third with her group and was awarded a prize of $3,500.

The efforts made by students like Liu, Hojnaski and Ma emphasize the hard work and commitment Broad Spartans have to succeed in today’s world of business.

“We are very proud of Julie, Julia and Esther for taking on the challenge of a national competition and showing their commitment to learning and success,” Thibideau said.