MBA students at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business put their skills to the test in front of one of the world’s biggest consulting firms, as Deloitte and the Smith MBA Consulting Club hosted the Second Annual Deloitte/Smith Case Competition on September 30, 2013.
The event provided Smith students with a great opportunity to practice a real world consulting assignment. For the competition, presented by Deloitte's Federal Human Capital practice, each team was put in the shoes of a Deloitte consultant whose client was having problems with a decline in employee satisfaction. The teams were given real, publicly available data and asked to come up with a solution to this problem and present their solution to a panel of senior members of Deloitte’s Federal practice, just as though they were presenting to a real-life client.
The event featured six teams of Smith full-time MBA students, each consisting of four second year and one first year. The inclusion of first-year MBA students in this year’s competition marked a change from the inaugural event a year ago in an effort to offer some early exposure to case competitions for first years and a chance to hone their skills just weeks into their MBA experience. James High, the VP of Finance for the Consulting Club, who oversaw the competition, said that he is “hopeful that with the opportunity to shadow, the first years will make a big improvement next year upon their return.”
The groups gathered at the Deloitte offices in Rossyln, Va., for a busy day of presentations. After each team delivered their proposal, the team of Deloitte judges provided instant feedback to the students with one-on-one performance reviews. This comprehensive review offered students unique access into the minds of seasoned professionals in the field of consulting – a resource greatly appreciated by all of the Smith participants. High added, “we love this about the competition because it gives teams immediate feedback and gives them concrete steps to build on.”
After all was said and done, one team of Smith students prevailed, as the group of Lily Matusiak, Jose Castro, Tom Jepsen, Salomon Camhi, and Sam Ro was awarded first place by the panel of judges. Speaking about his team’s experience, Jepsen said, "The competition was a great opportunity to apply our problem-solving, analytical, teamwork and presentation skills to a real-life federal consulting case in front of one of Smith's premier employer partners."
With a second successful competition in the books, the Consulting Club looks forward to establishing the competition as a marquee event in the Smith community for years to come.
- Patrick Gillece, Smith MBA Candidate 2015, Office of Marketing Communications