News at Smith

Smith MBAs Compete in PepsiCo MBA Invitational Business Case Competition

Nov 02, 2016
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


PepsiCo Awards $15,000 to MBA Students in a Business Case Competition at the TCU Neeley School of Business

MBA students from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business joined students from 13 other universities to compete in the 2016 PepsiCo MBA Invitational Business Case Competition at Texas Christian University (TCU), Oct. 28-30, 2016.

The MBA students arrived at TCU Friday evening and were assigned to eight mixed teams, each team member from a different school. They received the case from PepsiCo the following morning, worked quickly with their teammates, and then presented their solutions to PepsiCo executives Saturday afternoon. Winning teams were announced at an awards dinner that evening.

Smith student Anastasia Akhemedova was on the second place team, which won $5,000. Nicholas Ditchey was on the third place team, which took home $3,000.

This is the second year for the MBA business case competition, made possible by a partnership between the TCU Neeley School of Business and PepsiCo.

“The uniqueness of the PepsiCo MBA Invitational is that people from different MBA programs are placed on a team with other MBA students they have never met before to deal with a current PepsiCo strategic initiative,” said Ed Riefenstahl, director of MBA experiential learning at TCU Neeley. “It mimics real situations of working on teams with different professionals with different skills, all concentrating on coming up with the best solution for the company.”

“Each year we get valuable insights or validated perspectives from the MBAs,” said Chris Turner, senior vice president of strategy for Frito Lay.

“The timing of the competition fits perfectly into our project plan for identifying and recruiting summer 2017 MBA internships in marketing and finance,” Ralph Goedderz, vice president of finance for PepsiCo, said.

Participating schools for the 2016 competition at TCU were:

  • Columbia University/Columbia Business School
  • University of Illinois/College of Business
  • University of Iowa/Tippie College of Business
  • Rice University/Jones Graduate School of Business
  • University of Maryland/Smith School of Business
  • University of Notre Dame/Mendoza College of Business
  • Ohio State University/Fisher College of Business
  • Southern Methodist University/Cox School of Business
  • University of Texas at Austin/McCombs School of Business
  • Texas A&M University/Mays School of Business
  • Texas Christian University/Neeley School of Business
  • Vanderbilt University/Owen Graduate School of Management
  • University of Washington/Foster School of Business
  • Washington University in St. Louis/Olin Business School

For more information about the competition, visit:

Find out more about MBA programs at Smith:

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.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742