For the second time in three years, a team of undergraduate students from Carleton’s Sprott School of Business has won an international business competition.
(left to right) Alejandro Barreto, Karen Tran, Isabela Murillo, Michael Cacho
The team of Alejandro Barreto, Michael Cacho, Isabela Murillo and Karen Tran captured the gold medal at the Network of International Business Schools Worldwide Case Competition last week at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.
Carleton won the title in 2014 but failed in its attempt to repeat when it hosted the event, commonly referred to as NIBS, last year.
Robin Ritchie, the team’s coach and an associate professor at Sprott, said the level of competition this year was the highest he has ever seen. Mr. Ritchie said his team’s versatility and consistency were definite assets, adding his students did a good job handling questions from the judging panel – which included CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
“For us, everything came together in the semi-finals,” Mr. Ritchie said in a statement. “Everything about the presentation was terrific. The team had command of the room, and you felt like they’d considered every possible angle. They weren’t students anymore. You really believed you were listening to experienced consultants.”
The competition, which sees teams of students tackle real-world business problems in a short time period, began in the fall with a qualifying round. Teams downloaded their cases and sent back their solutions eight hours later.
At the finals in San Antonio, the Carleton team went head-to-head against entries from Finland, Ireland and Missouri in the preliminary round before advancing to the knockout round. Carleton defeated Concordia in the quarterfinals and Rotterdam University in the semifinals before taking on the University of Prince Edward Island for the title.
“The final round was similar to the broad strategy cases which we had been receiving the whole week,” Mr. Cacho said in a statement. “However, in the finals, there was much greater emphasis on the implementation for our solution, and we had to create a creative and effective solution to a not-so-creative case. I think this is where our team succeeded, in being able to apply both creativity and a practical implementation to an overarching top-level strategy case.”