Smeal MBA Teams Place First And Second In Two Case Competitions
Smeal MBA students Reginald Amoa, Tai Parks, and Carl Asher with representatives from LMI and Howard.
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (November 6, 2008) – Two teams of Smeal College of Business MBA students took home honors at recent case competitions at Howard University and Purdue University.
Reginald Amoa, Carl Asher, and Tai Parks, three second-year MBA students won first place in the fourth annual MBAE Minority Case Competition sponsored by Howard University and LMI Government Consulting. And first-year students Brent Gee, Sneha Sundaram, Prashant Trivedi, and Ilya Zelmanov took second place in the Krannert Business-to-Business Marketing & Strategy Case Competition sponsored by Purdue's Krannert School of Management, Amway, Eaton, and Shell.
At the Howard University competition, held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in Arlington, Va., the Smeal team received the case one week prior to the competition and worked each night to research, solidify, and practice their argument. The case focused on a supply chain issue that the U.S. Department of Defense faced early in Operation Iraqi Freedom regarding how containers could be managed on the front lines.
The team previously competed in the National Black MBA Association Case Competition in September, and they credit the experience they gained there with their success at Howard.
"Each of us has a different concentration in the MBA program, and we learned how to work well together and know each other's strengths and weaknesses," says Parks. "We've become good friends and really enjoy working together, which makes a difference in any situation."
The team is also thankful for the support of retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Richard Kelly, a member of Smeal's Board of Visitors who is the research chair for logistics at LMI Government Consulting.
The Purdue case competition centered on how software company Scriptlogic could expand its current marketing strategy to experience even more growth. The Smeal team received the case when they arrived at Purdue on the morning of Oct. 18 and had a little more than five hours to prepare their presentation.
This was the first case competition for each member of Smeal's team, and Zelmanov credits their second place finish to their ability to come together and work as a team.
"We were the most diverse team at the competition—all of us come from different backgrounds and different countries," he says. "But we were able to leverage that diversity and use it to our advantage. Each team member brought at different perspective to the table, and that played a big part in our success."
Zelmanov says the team plans to participate together in future case competitions and hopes to host a competition at Smeal.