Joe Zuchora, ’16 had a goal. Well, actually he had many of them. But among the many aspirations he had for himself and his study team during the Michigan State University Broad Executive MBA experience, winning the annual Case Competition was near the top.

EMBA Class of 2016 Case Competition Winners

EMBA Class of 2016 Case Competition Winners (L to R) Front: Blair Parker, Joe Zuchora and Zubair Ahmed. Back: Jessica Gaisor, Asha Boddu and Brian Geese.

“At orientation we had to set goals for the program, and I knew if I was going to do this program, I was going to do it right,” said Zuchora. “That meant setting a high standard from the beginning. And…” he continued, “win the case competition.”

And so he and his team did. On a winter Saturday in January, twenty-two EMBA teams, consisting of second-year students from the Lansing and Troy campuses competed for the annual Case Competition trophy. Following a full day of skilled presentations, pointed questions and tense judge deliberations, the team of Zubair Ahmed, Asha Boddu, Jessica Gasior, Brian Geese, Blair Parker and Joe Zuchora emerged as the Class of 2016 Executive MBA Case Competition champions. It was a significant accomplishment given the quality of their classmates and presentations.

The competition required the EMBA teams to analyze a dynamic and complex business case, and then develop and present their analysis, recommendations, and implementation plans to a panel of Executive MBA alumni and faculty judges. The competition consisted of two rounds – a qualification round (morning) and a final round (afternoon).

Preparation for the competition is considerable.  The event is intense, the pride to finish among the top is high, and the learning that takes place for all participants is significant.  It’s a theme that runs through the entire 21-month program. As Zuchora put it, “If you put in the effort and work as a team, the program gives you the edge to take your career to the next level.”