Elon MBA Class of 2018 completes capstone case competition

The graduating cohort applied the knowledge and skills acquired during the program to a business case analysis presentation.  

Forty-three MBA candidates completed the Elon MBA case competition on Feb. 10, a signature experience for each year’s graduating cohort.

The competition challenged 10 teams to conduct a case analysis of Gap Inc. Teams analyzed the company’s strategic issues related to declining sales and the implementation of big data for predicting consumer tastes, evaluated solution alternatives, and recommended an action plan for resolving the identified problems.

“The MBA case competition was a great way of leveraging the variety of skills we have gained during our MBA journeys,” said Jonathan Brown, a member of the winning team.

The team of Brown, vice president at East Coast Oxygen & Hyrdro Testing, Inc.; Michael Johnson, marketing specialist at Red Hat; Jonathan Lindberg ’04, associate director, operations, finance and contracts at BioDelivery Sciences International; Caitlin Shaw, director of alumni engagement at Duke Law School; and Jocelyn Woloszczuk, product manager at NetApp; placed first.

The members of the runner-up team were Ashley Anderson, conversion rate optimization specialist for ROI Revolution; Allyson Davis, national channel sales manager, U.S. and Canada for Schneider Electric; Danny Garcia, project analyst for Icon PLC; and Vivian Wooten, senior vendor management specialist for Duke Energy.

“We viewed the competition as a showcase opportunity,” Lindberg said. “Our team’s primary goal and strategy was to be eccentric and delight the judges. One particular strength for our group was the diversity of our professional backgrounds and experiences; this variety allowed us to develop and present a thoughtful and powerful solution.”

Love School of Business Executive-in-Residence Michael Gannaway and Jody Jones, a professional business consultant and adjunct professor of strategic management, served as judges. They evaluated teams on presentation delivery and solution quality.

“The case competition was a wonderful culmination of the MBA program,” Shaw said. “Having started classes at the RTP campus with my teammates, it was especially rewarding to work with them on this final project.”

The Elon MBA program has two campuses allowing students to take classes at a location that minimizes their travel time – Elon main campus and The Solution Center in Research Triangle Park.

The winning team began the part-time program in fall 2015, taking classes primarily at the RTP campus.

“Being able to both begin and complete the program with this amazing RTP team was awesome,” Woloszczuk said, “and winning was obviously an added bonus!”

“The competition was an excellent opportunity to not only show what we’ve learned during the MBA program, but also to cement a connection with our fellow graduating MBA’s,” Johnson said. “I’d worked with each of the members of my team before (and even traveled halfway around the world with most through study abroad), so it was great to be able to round out the program alongside them. I’m proud of the work we put into this program and this case.”

Designed for working professionals from Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh and beyond, the Elon MBA offers a part-time program with full-time benefits. Elon MBA students benefit from small class sizes, a curriculum focused on the transfer of course content to practical application, career services and an extraordinary faculty committed to teaching and engaged learning.