College Park, Md. – April 13, 2015 – Teams from top U.S. MBA programs competed to provide the best set of recommendations to the Global Alliance for the Improvement of Nutrition (GAIN) in the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business inaugural Emerging Markets Forum Case Competition, held April 10, 2015, at Smith’s Washington, D.C., campus.
In addition to the Smith School, competitors represented Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
A team from the Smith School captured the event’s $2,000 first prize, with the runner’s up prize of $1,000 awarded to a team from the University of Washington Foster School of Business.
The event marked a collaboration between Smith’s Center for International Business Education Research (CIBER), the MBA Emerging Markets Association and Smith’s MBA Net Impact chapter, expanding the activity of the university’s annual Emerging Markets Forum, which takes place on Friday, April 24, 2015.
“I think the success of this competition lays the groundwork for what is certain to become a high profile signature event for the Smith School next year and in years to come,” said Kislaya Prasad, director of CIBER and research professor in the department of logistics, business and public policy.
Judged by a panel of corporate executives and international development professionals, the competition featured an unpublished case written by the Global Business School Network (GBSN) which asked students to recommend a business model for GAIN to scale its food fortification program using market forces.
“The Emerging Markets Forum Case Competition was a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in business school to a context that we don’t often talk about in the classroom – developing economies,” said Katelyn Victor, MBA ’16, a member of the winning team from Smith.”
Student teams of three to five were issued the case on Monday evening, working through the week before making their presentations on Friday. The teams were evaluated on their identification of the critical issues, the quality of their analysis and the feasibility of their recommendations as well as their overall delivery and ability to navigate the question and answer session.
“Being a judge for the inaugural Emerging Markets Case Competition was a very enjoyable experience: I was quite impressed by the thoroughness and sophistication of the students' recommendations and presentations,” said Christine Lemyze, MBA ’85, vice president of marketing for IBM Systems, North America. “In addition, it was a refreshing break from my day-to-day routine.”
“The case was complex and interesting and I actually learned quite a bit in the process of reading and researching it,” Lemyze said. “I'm already looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Interested in learning more about emerging markets? Register for the Emerging Markets Forum, Friday, April 24, 2015, in D.C.
- Andrew Kneale, MBA’15, Office of Marketing Communications; Photos by Chris O'Brien