Elon team presents strategic recommendations for 3M in National Diversity Case Competition

For the Indiana University competition, a team of Love School of Business undergraduate students developed a strategy addressing how 3M can increase access to STEM education in the U.S.

A team of Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students analyzed a business case and presented recommendations in the 2020 National Diversity Case Competition (NDCC) hosted by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

The competition asked teams to develop a strategy addressing how corporate partner 3M can work with communities in the U.S. to increase engagement of underrepresented and under-resourced K-12 students in STEM programs. Judges evaluated strategies on audience, engagement, promotion, communication, diversity and inclusion, differentiation, brand and metrics.

Elon’s team was comprised of Dana Knowles ’20, a finance and accounting double major, Dinora Flores ’21, a finance major, Julian Valderrama ’22, a finance major, and Martin Beckelhymer ’22, an entrepreneurship major. Stacy Outlaw, director of undergraduate programs for the Love School of Business, mentored the team.

“The topic that the case study was centered around, minority disparities in STEM, is something I faced growing up in southern North Carolina,” Flores said. “I’m glad that the NDCC corporate partners were interested and invested in such an important topic.”

Forty-two schools participated in the Jan. 17-18 event, which involved the case competition, networking and professional development workshops. Elon finished as a runner-up in its competition bracket, which included the University of Denver, University of Virginia, Boston University and Emory University.

“The exposure to representatives from various corporations, but especially the interaction with quality people my age from all over the country made this experience, and all the work we put into preparing for it, worth it,” Beckelhymer said. “Just watching one of the finalist presentations opened my eyes to the level at which students in my age group can perform.”

“Given the lack of diversity in the business field, I was encouraged to see the other students’ desire to compete at a such high level but not let that interfere with them building relationships and having a good time,” Valderrama added. “It gives me hope that the next generation of business leaders will be stronger than ever.”