March 23, 2021

Nine Teams Compete in Inaugural Ace the Case Global Business Challenge

The Center for Global Business partnered with the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the College of Business at Florida International University, and Austral Education Group to organize and offer the first Ace the Case Global Business Challenge from February 19 through March 5, 2021. The Ace the Case Global Business Challenge is a virtual opportunity for graduate-level business students to compete against peers from schools around the world on a real challenge for a global client through an interviewer-led case interview and a final video presentation.

In its first year, nine teams from eight different business schools and four different countries participated in the challenge via Zoom to recommend a post-pandemic growth strategy to Aloy3d, a 3D printing company based in Mexico. Schools that submitted teams included Maryland Smith, the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and the Stern School of Business at New York University, Birla Institute of Management Technology in India, ESIC Business and Marketing School in Spain, SKEMA Business School in France, and Florida International University.

Each team provided a set of initiatives to attract new industrial customers and a list of new products and services for the post-pandemic world to Aloy3d. Teams from Maryland Smith, the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and the Stern School of Business at New York University all advanced to the second part of the challenge, which tasked each team to submit a 10-minute video presentation that included recommendations on a full post-pandemic growth strategy for Aloy3d. Congratulations to the team from the Foster School of Business for winning the challenge and to one of the two teams that competed from Maryland Smith for coming in second place.

Jordan Heitzner, MBA class of 2022, competed on the Maryland Smith team that came in second place. Heitzner’s team consisted of students from one of four different graduate programs at Smith, highlighting the benefits that come from working on a multidisciplinary team and the ability to work with individuals who had not worked together in the past, all examples of what working on a team looks like in the real world.

"The Ace the Case Global Business Challenge provided me with an exciting opportunity to learn about a new industry, challenge my strategic and analytical skills, and present a recommendation to a real, international client," says Heitzner. "Additionally, being placed on a team where none of us had ever met each other before, let alone worked together, gave me the opportunity to strengthen my leadership and teamwork skills as well. With all four of us coming from different advanced degree programs and getting to know each other for the first time during this competition, we were thrilled to have gotten to the final round and accomplished everything that we did."

The partnering schools would like to thank Aloy3d and the judges who oversaw the challenge. Maryland Smith alumni who participated as formal interviewers and judges included Pallavi Agarwal '05, president and founder of Kander Consult; Aaron Garnett MBA '09, vice president of Global Enterprise Analytics at Discovery; Alejandro Prada MBA '18, principal advisor of Strategy and Corporate Affairs at the Inter-American Development Bank, and Craig Stoeber '81, software licensing executive at IBM.

Maryland Smith, the University of Washington's Foster School of Business, and Florida International University are home to three of 15 Centers for International Business Education otherwise known as CIBE or CIBER, a Title VI grant administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The mission of the CIBE grant is to promote U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace and to encourage international mutual understanding. Each of the partners expresses thanks to the U.S. Department of Education for their support in making the Ace the Case Global Business Challenge possible.

By Marina Augoustidis, associate director, Center for Global Business

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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 part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty 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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