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Elon MBA holds sixth annual case competition

MBA students demonstrate acquired knowledge and skill in internal case competition for regional company.

The Elon MBA Program hosted its sixth annual case competition for candidates of the Class of 2017 on Feb. 25, 2017, in the Ernest A. Koury Sr. Business Center.

The winning team (from left to right): Katharine Frazier '05,  Grant Panell, Robert Hale '14, and Joshua Bonney '13 L'16.

The team of Joshua Bonney ’13 L’16, Katharine Frazier ’05, Robert Hale ‘14 and Grant Panell placed first.

This year’s case challenged teams to develop a strategic plan for Boston Beer Co., a regional brand trying to increase market size and distribution. Students were tasked with analyzing the company’s competitive position, interpreting complex financial data, identifying opportunities and recommending specific actions. The students had a week to prepare before presenting their plan to a panel of judges.

“We were challenged with a complex opportunity, possessing a variety of improvement possibilities, while working within time constraints, all of which were comparable with those existing in real business environments today,” said Pannell, an operational excellence leader at Commscope.

“The emphasis on identifying critical issues and postulating viable solutions forced us to think critically and collaboratively on a time-sensitive basis that is indicative of the expectations of our present and future clients,” added Bonney, an associate attorney in the public finance group of Parker Poe Adams & Berstein LLP.

The teams were judged on two criteria: presentation quality, including organization of the presentation, use of technology and team dynamics; and quality of analysis action plan, including quality of recommendations and specificity.

“The Elon MBA program has allowed me to develop strong business persuasion and communication skills while enhancing my analytical thinking capabilities,” said Hale, a credit support analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The case competition provided a platform to apply various tools learned throughout the program into one real-life application.”

Love School of Business Executive-in-Residence Michael Gannaway and Johanna Jones, a professional business consultant, judged this year’s competition.

This is the sixth consecutive year the Elon MBA program has organized the case competition.

“[The event] provides an opportunity for the group to come together as an entire class before graduation,” said William Burpitt, associate dean of graduate programs for the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. “In that sense, it is a celebration.”

“The case competition provided an ideal capstone scenario as it allowed us to pull from our MBA coursework and utilize our individual strengths and academic focuses in a team environment,” said Frazier, the general manager of SkySouth Aviation. 

Caroline Perry,
3/31/2017 12:00 PM