Elon MBA Class of 2022 tests skills in capstone event

The MBA candidates applied the knowledge acquired throughout their studies during the program’s annual business case competition.

Thirty-three candidates in the Elon MBA program presented analyses and strategic recommendations during the annual MBA case competition, a signature experience for each year’s graduating class.

The team of Mark Leath, vice president of sales and marketing at AMT Group Inc., Charles Rizzo, senior IT operations manager at Landis + Gyr, Michael Strickland, managing consultant at PROACTIVE and Erica Walsh, system implementation manager at Sevaredent Sourcing Solutions, won the event.

“Each member of our team brought unique insight as well as experience to the case,” Leath said. “The short turn from case delivery to presentation really required us to have good time management and communication skills.”

This year’s case focused on the issues real estate brokerage firm Redfin faces in its efforts to be successful and sustainable as it grows its business and expands its presence in the online real estate industry.

Over the course of two weeks, teams considered Redfin’s strategic concerns and conducted an analysis of its business model to find and evaluate problems and solutions. Teams presented their findings and recommendations to a panel of judges on Feb. 5.

“The case competition put a bow on the courses I’ve taken in the MBA program,” Strickland said. “We pulled various topics from past classes to produce a well-rounded presentation. It was a great forum to reflect on the various topics covered in the program.”

Teams were evaluated on their identification and analysis of key issues, evaluation of proposed alternative solutions, strategic recommendations, proposed action plan, communication, presentation organization and team dynamics.

Placing second was the team of Salvatore Catapano, landscape turf supervisor at Elon University, Derrick Durbin, site controller at Creative Snacks Co., Benjamin Richardson, senior chassis engineer at Volvo Trucks North America, and Charbourne Rumley, COO of North State Dental Partners.

Patrick Bell ’01, lecturer in management, Pieter Swanepoel ’04, lecturer in accounting, Jocelyn Johnson ’18, product manager at NetApp, Michael Johnson ’18, customer reference manager at Red Hat, Tom Fitzgerald ’19, principal at Schnabel Engineering and Jonathan Brown ’18, vice president at East Coast Oxygen & Hydro Testing, Inc, served as judges.

“The case competition was an enjoyable experience, much like a microcosm of the whole program,” Rizzo said. “We tried to certainly play to our strengths, but also apply the tools and techniques we learned in each class to bring a holistic perspective.”