News at Smith

Smith MBAs Win Emerging Markets Case Competition

Apr 07, 2016
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business hosted the Second Annual Emerging Markets Case Competition, April 1-2, 2016. Through two rounds of presentations and Q&A, the team from the Smith School emerged victorious capturing the event’s $2,500 first prize. The runner-up prize of $1,500 went to the University of Washington, Foster School of Business.

Eight teams from seven top U.S. MBA programs from around the country gathered at Van Munching Hall for an intense 24-hour preparation and presentation of their findings. The objective was to provide recommendations to the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on a specific case involving the economic sustainability strategy of a mining company in Ghana.

In addition to the Smith School and the Foster School, competitors represented business schools from George Washington University School of Business, American University – Kogod School of Business, Texas A&M University – Mays Business School, Johns Hopkins University – Carey School of Business, and Temple University – Fox School of Business.

Harpreet Ghuman, a member of Smith’s team expressed his gratitude for the win, “I just feel elated, I was very pleased with the work that we had done and the final product we created…But winning just made it all so much better and helped me to be more confident about future case competitions.”

Victoria Ryan, also a member of the Smith team said, “I was excited to participate in a case competition that very much aligns with my career goals of working in emerging markets. It was interesting to analyze this case and communicate the importance of quantifying the impact of a company's CSR initiatives in developing countries. We had a great team and after racking our brains for how to best approach this situation, we were ecstatic to have won first place!”

This sophomore event follows the strong success of last year’s Inaugural Emerging Markets Case Competition and continues the partnership between Smith’s Office of Global Initiatives, the Center for International Business Education Research (CIBER) and the MBA Emerging Markets Association. The competition was judged by a fantastic panel of corporate executives and international development professionals, as well as an IFC consultant for Global Infrastructure and Natural Resources Advisory, Toniqua Hay.

Student teams of three to five were issued the case on Wednesday afternoon (March 30) given the length of the case was above average. Arriving at the University of Maryland on Friday, the teams attended a registration seminar and then quick broke into their teams to prepare their presentations for early Saturday morning. 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.

“I am pleased to see the success of our Emerging Markets Case Competition in its second year. It will be a high profile signature event for the Smith School in years to come,” said Kislaya Prasad, director of CIBER and research professor in the department of logistics, business and public policy. Interested in learning more about emerging markets? Register to attend the Emerging Markets Forum, Friday, April 29, 2016, in D.C.

For more information about the Smith CIBER, visit:

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-          Zachary Feldmann, MBA Candidate 2017

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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