You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / March / Smeal Case Team Takes Third Place in International Competition

Smeal Case Team Takes Third Place in International Competition

Four Penn State Smeal College of Business students recently returned from the Marshall International Case Competition at the University of Southern California with a third-place trophy—the highest position of all participating American universities.
March 4, 2013

Four Penn State Smeal College of Business students recently returned from the Marshall International Case Competition at the University of Southern California with a third-place trophy—the highest position of all participating American universities.

The Smeal team, led by case team director Andy Gustafson, assistant professor of business administration, included Marketing major Devin Weakland, Actuarial Science and Economics major Benjamin Pugh, Accounting and Finance major Nicholas Fakelmann, and Supply Chain and Information Systems major Samantha Jarmul.

Thirty schools attended the competition. Each was allowed 24 hours to prepare a presentation in response to a case revolving around Owens & Minor, Inc.—a supply chain solutions provider of medical and surgical supplies.

“In essence, the students were charged with the following question: How do we extract the greatest value from our recent European acquisition?” said Gustafson. “The students had to create a business strategy, implementation plan, and financial return analysis in less than 24 hours.”

While all the business skills that contribute to developing this presentation make up about 50 percent of the judging, according to Gustafson, public speaking and presentation skills also count for much of a team’s final score.

Pugh said one of the reasons their team stood out was their clear presentation of ideas: “In any presentation, what’s really important is to make things easy to understand. It also helps if you can make a personal connection with the judges.”

Also important is their ability to think on their feet in the question and answer session with the judging panel—which included Owens & Minor CEO Craig Smith.

“Nick, Devin, Ben, and Samantha were not only great competitors, but also great ambassadors for Penn State,” said Gustafson.

Penn State took third place behind the University of British Columbia, which took top honors, and the Singapore Management University, which came in second.

Recent News
Deysher Named Alumni Fellow by Penn State Alumni Association 27 Oct

Bryon Deysher, a 1977 graduate of the Penn State Smeal College of Business, was one of 21 Penn State alumni recognized in early October as Alumni Fellow by the Penn State Alumni Association. Deysher is president and chief executive officer of Methods Machine Tools, Inc. and a member of the Smeal Board of Visitors.

Price-Fixing Whistleblower and FBI Informant To Deliver Shoemaker Lecture at Penn State 15 Oct

Mark Whitacre, the corporate whistleblower who revealed price fixing at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and spent more than eight years in federal prison for tax evasion and fraud, will deliver a lecture entitled “When Good Leaders Lose Their Way” from 6 to 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 6 in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus.

Penn State Executive Programs Receives Gold Award for Junior Achievement Partnership 14 Oct

For its work with Junior Achievement USA, Penn State Executive Programs has won Chief Learning Officer magazine's highest executive education partnership award. The 2014 Gold award for Excellence in Academic Partnerships recognizes academic institutions that have partnered in the past year with an organization to teach its employees about a key business issue.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. Chief Development Officer Discusses Leadership and Challenges, Opportunities in the Fashion Retail Industry 10 Oct

David Ziel, chief development officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc., spoke to a full audience in the Struthers Auditorium of the Business Building today, as part of the college’s Executive Insights series.

Urban Outfitters, Inc. Chief Development Officer David Ziel to Speak at Smeal Leadership Lecture Series 01 Oct

David Ziel, chief development officer of Urban Outfitters, Inc. will share his perspectives on business and leadership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business on Friday, October 10. His visit is part of the college’s Executive Insights series and the Melvin Jacobs Retail Leadership Lecture Series.

More Recent News... More Recent News...