April 24, 2024

From Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Smith Graduate Students Compete in Global Case Competitions

Business Master’s students from the Smith School participated in two global case competitions: the International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition (IBESCC) and the NASBITE International Student Case Competition.

In April 2024, the Center for Global Business (CGB) facilitated the participation of graduate students from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in two influential case competitions. The 2024 International Business Ethics and Sustainability Case Competition (IBESCC) in Los Angeles focused on advocating for sustainable business practices, while the 2024 NASBITE International Student Case Competition in Las Vegas presented challenges in devising strategic solutions to complex global business problems. These competitions stand as a testament to CGB's dedication to equipping students with the skills needed for success in the global business landscape.

Representing the Smith School of Business at the 2024 IBESCC hosted by Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles was an incredible journey for our team: Juweria Jilani, MS in Marketing Analytics, ’24. Apoorva Jain, MS in Marketing Analytics & Business Management, ‘24, Tanmay Sakharkar, MS in Business Analytics, Gautam Bhatia, MS in Business Analytics, ’24. “From the moment we boarded our flight to LA, we were filled with anticipation. We were joining 50 other teams from 8 countries and 33 universities to tackle pressing sustainability challenges,” recounted Jilani.

Guided by CGB, Jilani, Jain, Sakharkar, and Bhatia prepared rigorously, refining their skills and crafting a compelling presentation on ‘United Airlines Flying Clean: Advocacy for Sustainable Aviation Fuel.’ “This competition involved teamwork, collaboration, and communication, fostering the development of interpersonal skills vital for navigating corporate environments,” reflected Jain.

Arriving in Los Angeles, they found themselves amidst a diverse group of teams, all united by a common goal of addressing pressing sustainability challenges. “The keynote address by Dan Goldenberg, former Head of Sustainability at Activision Blizzard, was inspiring. He highlighted the gap between sustainability awareness and action in the corporate world, encouraging us to make meaningful changes,” Jilani recalled. Their presentation, rooted in thorough analysis and persuasive advocacy, earned praise from judges and peers alike, showcasing the power of collaboration and collective action in driving positive change.

While Jilani, Jain, Sakharkar, and Bhatia were making waves at the IBESCC, another group of other students was preparing to leave their mark on the global business stage in Las Vegas. Ganesaan Solayappan, MS in Business Analytics, ’24, Hitaishi Joshi, MS in Information Systems, ’24, Daniel Alegbeleye, MBA ’25, and Stephen Alexander, MBA ’24, were representing UMD at the 2024 NASBITE International Student Case Competition. “Every interaction with our teammates and professor brought forth fresh insights and perspectives, contributing to the refinement of our proposal,” remarked Solayappan.

Their journey was marked by countless hours of research, analysis, and collaboration. Guided by Paulo Prochno, clinical professor of management and organization, they meticulously crafted a market entry plan for Nevco, a renowned scoreboard manufacturer based in Illinois. “The competition serves as a testament to the next generation of business leaders, showcasing their ability to navigate complex global challenges,” Laurie Wolff, a distinguished figure at NASBITE International, remarked. Their presentation met with enthusiasm, and earned them a spot in the final round, demonstrating their ability to navigate complex global challenges with skill and determination.

The experiences of both teams underscore CGB’s commitment to providing opportunities for students to build international business skills and preparing them for the international marketplace.

The funding to participate in these opportunities was provided in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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