A student team representing the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business took second place in the team and individual writing competitions at the 2012 Biz Quiz hosted by Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business in November 2012.
The three-person team consisting of Smith juniors Ehson Kashfipour, Ryan Lee-Young and Nelson Young answered questions based on stories printed in recent issues of The Wall Street Journal. Smith faculty member Stephanie Eckerd advised the team. Smith was among 18 business schools that participated in the event.
The Biz Quiz consisted of a written competition and an oral competition. The oral portion involved a Jeopardy!-style format in which three teams would compete at a time and had to buzz-in first to answer a question. Written exams were taken independently.
Kashfipour, Lee-Young and Young combined to finish second in the team written portion and Lee-Young took second place in the individual written portion. The second-place finish in the team competition earned the students $300 to split, while Lee-Young earned $150 for his individual second-place finish. They also earned a trophy.
The team nearly advanced to the semi-finals of the oral competition, losing in a sudden-death playoff.
To prepare for the competition, Kashfipour, Lee-Young and Young were asked to read the Monday-Friday issues of the Journal weekly, Eckerd said. They each independently read the front page and divided the remaining sections of the paper, using a Google document to keep each other informed. Eckerd would then quiz them for an hour once each week.
Eckerd noted that the weeks of preparation needed for the Biz Quiz is different from case competitions, which often involve little preparation because the participants don’t know what cases they’re doing until the competition begins. “They really should be commended for working as hard as they did,” she said regarding Kashfipour, Lee-Young and Young.
They have already reported that they’ve been able to use the knowledge they’ve obtained through the competition in the classroom and in internship interviews, Eckerd said.
Because Kashfipour, Lee-Young and Young are juniors, Eckerd said she hopes they’ll try out for the Biz Quiz team again next year, although she added that she hopes their success will encourage additional Smith undergraduates to also try out.
Peter Haldis, MBA Candidate 2014