Last month five Smith MBAs -- Jayaraman Anantharam, Ryan Fleming, Lea Kleinschmidt, Catherine Philbin, and Estella Y.J. Rong -- participated in the Fifth Annual Kenan-Flagler Marketing Case Competition at the University of North Carolina.
The competition, held Feb. 20-21, 2004, offered a unique networking opportunity because unlike most case competitions, students did not compete as a school. Students from each of the 12 invited schools were divided up into 12 teams of five or six students, and then broken up into two groups. Teams were given about six hours to read a real-world brand management case from competition sponsor McNeil Pharmaceuticals before they made 30-minute presentations to the judges. The best team in each group competed in the finals.
Smith MBA Ryan Fleming made it to the finals with his team, and said it was great working with students from other schools. "We got a glimpse of what their programs were like in general, and how they differ from each other. In some cases we got a good look into how they approached marketing and the process they use in providing business solutions," said Fleming.
Fleming's team didn't come out on top, but he said he couldn't wait to get into another competition like this one. His team was made up of students from Harvard, University of North Carolina, Duke, Carnegie Mellon, and Northwestern. Other schools represented were Ohio State, Purdue, University of Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Columbia, and Yale.
"I feel like I have colleagues at various schools that I could leverage another time should the opportunity arise," said Fleming. "There is a unique bond that is built by motivated people, who just meet, fight through adversity, and succeed together. For someone who loves being involved and healthy competition, this was a great experience," he added.