Business students assigned to create, propose case solution in 24 hours in Global Business Case Challenge

Elon’s team of Haley Brengartner ’20, Bailee Castillo ’20, Philip Posson ’21 and Andrew Rees ’20 applied marketing and research skills during the event hosted by Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan.

A Martha and Spencer Love School of Business student team participated in the 2019 Global Business Case Challenge (GBCC), gaining a new understanding of how important different minds and backgrounds can be in an ever-changing business environment.

The international undergraduate case competition, held Dec. 3-8 in Beppu, Japan, was organized by Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University students and supported by the Asia Pacific School of Management faculty advisors.

Haley Brengartner ’20, a management major, Bailee Castillo ’20, a finance and economics double major, Philip Posson ’21, an entrepreneurship major, and Andrew Rees ’20, an accounting major, represented Elon University in the collegiate competition and were accompanied by advisor and lecturer in management Patrick Bell.

This event, which follows the core concepts of diversity, synergy, innovation, mentorship, and the Japanese concept of Ichigo Ichie, brought together 12 universities from around the world, including the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

First, each team was given a mini-case and had five hours to create a marketing solution on how a brand should advertise a new product that was being brought into the market. This case was used to place teams into four division rounds for the main competition.

Teams were then introduced to the 24-hour competition involving a new case which dealt with a business that wanted to expand its capacity. The case was left vague intentionally to allow teams to be creative in their solution.

During the 24 hours, each team was isolated in a room and could not communicate with advisors or ask for external help. Students conducted research on the company, identified the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and leveraged their understanding of the business in the solution that they created. They used their knowledge of business and ingenuity to create a fully-fledged proposal and case solution, which they presented to a panel of professionals serving as judges.

Teams presented the breakdown of the business, market background, and their solution, as well as a timeline, costs, and proposed outcomes. They were judged based on presentation skills and professionalism, how implementable their solution was and whether all the information they provided was complete.

“The Global Business Case Challenge has been the highlight of my Elon experience,” Posson said. “Getting to travel and compete internationally allowed the team and I a once in a lifetime experience. We were challenged mentally and physically by the competition as a whole and developed our individual skill sets through the help of Elon professors and international ambassadors.”