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Student Experience

Wisconsin MBA Students Take Top 5 Honors in Case Competitions

By Paul Smirl

January 6, 2020

Case competitions are a central part of the full-time MBA experience. They are a way for students to test their new, focused skills in a high-pressure environment and to apply tools to challenges that businesses face.

Wisconsin Full-Time MBA students regularly compete in case competitions and regularly receive top 5 honors, placing among the most prominent business schools in the nation.

Recently a team of four students in the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA’s Operations and Technology Management specialization participated in the Technology Innovation Challenge (TIC) sponsored by Intuit and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Out of fifty teams, the Wisconsin group placed third.

Participant Michael Turco (MBA ’21) was excited about his Wisconsin team’s solution to the complex problem posed by Intuit.

“Intuit asked the teams to create a product using computer user interface technology to resolve key pain points of their customers,” says Turco. “We proposed a bot designed for early stage small businesses that need help understanding their financial data.”

Turco described the team’s role as that of a product manager—identifying target customers and what pains them, analyzing the competitive landscape, determining technical feasibility, and developing a go-to-market strategy.

Supply chain and real estate students continue Wisconsin’s success

Wisconsin Full-Time MBA students in the supply chain management specialization recently took home a prize of their own, earning second place in the Michigan State Bowersox Supply Chain Challenge. Students Hridoy Kr Das (MBA ’20), Cher Huang (MBA ’20), Rile Drevlow (MBA ’21), and Utkarsh Kohli (MBA ’21) competed against MBA students from across the nation in developing supply chains to address industry challenges.

Real estate students at Wisconsin made it a trifecta for the Wisconsin School of Business, earning second place in the 2019 CRE Financial Council Real Estate Debt Case Competition. It was the first time Wisconsin real estate students participated in a debt competition.

The team of Evan Gorder (MBA ’21), Carolyn Kane (MBA ’21), William Han (MBA ’20), and Michal Von Schledorn (BBA ’20) competed against 12 other business school teams. As the Graaskamp Center staff noted in their recent blog, “The team embodied the key components of a successful debt underwriting team, working well together under stressful conditions, the ability to make decisions without ego, and complementary skills.”

Case competitions reflect dedication to experiential learning 

Case competitions are part of the Wisconsin Full-Time MBA Program’s dedication to experiential learning and hands-on skill-building. They take what you learn in the classroom and from industry partners and alumni, and put you in a situation where you have to perform and provide results.

The Wisconsin Full-Time MBA’s specialization model additionally leads to success competing on a national stage against top business schools. Wisconsin offers ten career specializations, and students begin their intensive coursework in a focused area during their first year on campus. They go into case competitions well versed in the specific business discipline, ready to creatively develop solutions to the prompts’ complex problems.

Such specialized focus leads to high rates of internship success for Wisconsin students and placements at top companies after graduation.