Maryland Students Win Inaugural MBA Case Competition
Four graduate students from the University of Maryland won the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s inaugural MBA Case Competition on November 3, beating out 33 teams from a dozen elite business programs in a competition exploring the connection between corporate social responsibility and business success.
The team from Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business emerged from four finalists, winning over judges with a plan to overhaul the supply chain of a fictional grocery store, known as HEI.
The Smith School team (which dubbed itself the Commerce Team) was one of four selected to the final round. Other finalists included teams from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University; and Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. The team from the Kellogg School finished in second place. The McDonough and Tepper School teams both placed third. All teams won cash prizes from the Chamber Foundation and FedEx Freight.
Winning team members from the Smith School included Shishir Bhargava of New Delhi, India; Alison Scharman of Kensington, MD; Anna Holland of Annapolis, MD; and team captain Emily Robichaud of Lexington, KY. They impressed judges with a detailed plan to overhaul HEI’s supply chain to reduce environmental impacts and costs.
The judges complimented the Smith School team for the comprehensiveness of its presentation, its poise when answering questions, and clear knowledge of financial models.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched the MBA Case Competition this year in an effort to highlight future business leaders, and show how businesses can do good while also doing well. FedEx Freight served as a partner and underwriting sponsor of the competition.
“We’re very honored to be a part of this first case competition,” said Sean Healy, senior vice president of strategic planning and engineering at FedEx Freight. “We’re proud of the work you all did, and are extremely proud to be associated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.”
Chamber and Foundation leaders said the competition served to highlight the potential of those aspiring to become impactful members of the business community.
“We spend a lot of time thinking about the emerging issues that companies are going to face in the coming years,” said Suzanne Clark, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We believe we’re all going to better off if we start thinking about those challenges now, and if we start working with the next generation of business leaders now. And I believe a lot of those leaders are in this room.”
The competition’s judges included Suzanne Clark, Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communication at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and Jeff Greer, senior vice president of human resources at FedEx Freight.
To see a webcast of the competition, go to uschamberfoundation.org/MBA