While it may not be a part of any class syllabus, friendly competition is a staple of the Broad College experience. Continuing a legacy that began nearly 20 years ago, the Extreme Green: Broad vs. Broad competition offers first-year Full-Time MBA students a chance to test the skills they’ve garnered from both their education and real-world experience on a cutting-edge business problem. After a five-year hiatus, this major event has returned and was held on Feb. 26–28 at the Broad Business Complex.
“The students had 36 hours to be introduced to the business case, work with their MBA teams on a presentation and deliver their choices,” William Horton-Anderson, assistant director for the Full-Time MBA program and organizer of the event, said.
The MBA students were tasked with a problem focused on the growth of direct-to-consumer personal grooming products. The case reviewed Gillette’s efforts to maintain a competitive advantage against newer, more affordable products such as Dollar Shave Club. Specifically, students examined the long-term effects shown when established brands start price wars to compete against smaller rivals that offer cheaper alternatives.
“The Broad vs. Broad experience gave us a dose of healthy competition against our peers in which we were able to flex our collective strengths as a group,” Bradley Sauchak, a member of the winning team, said. “It forced us to both quickly and effectively work together as well as delegate work based on individual strengths in order to align and create a purposeful solution for presentation.”
Every participating team left the competition with invaluable feedback about their development as future business professionals, hearing directly from 15 Full-Time MBA alumni as this year’s event judges. In addition to providing a real-world view of how problem solving occurs in the business world for the students, the alumni were treated to a tour of the recently completed Edward J. Minskoff Pavillion.
“I enjoyed getting to see the many different angles that students approached the case and the different ways they built supporting data to support recommendations,” Jared Kuehnlein (MBA ’16) said.
Horton-Anderson added, “I was able to watch our final four teams present and I was blown away. Their education and corporate experience wowed the judges, and I’m very proud that everyone gave it their all.”
The judges ultimately selected the winning team, composed of Sauchak, Michael Sahara, Karthik Rai, Danielle Chatman-Moore and Zhijun (Cindy) Dong.
“I thought the Broad v. Broad case competition was very well structured to challenge and get you thinking,” Rai commented. “It was exciting to see how we could apply the various concepts that were taught in multiple courses to solve the problem.”
Horton-Anderson offered final thoughts on the resurgence of the Broad vs. Broad competition: “From the beginning, each team was focused on developing and delivering the greatest pitch to the investors,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to be a part of their time in the Full-Time MBA program at the Broad College. They truly are the next global business leaders.”