Campus / News / January 14, 2009

Students place in business competition

Before leaving for winter break, six Knox students were called to compete with other schools in a challenge to “formulate ideas, condense these diverse ideas and present a well articulated and unified business plan with a group of strangers.”

Seniors Jessica Wise, Garry Barton, Zehra Munir, Mauaz Raza, Maureen McDonnell, and junior Rafay Kahn participated in the Simon Graduate School of Business Early Leaders Case Competition held at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y. November 7th and 8th. McDonnell said, “Zehra [Munir] and myself prepared for the competition through our corporate strategy in which we analyzed corporations and discussed the effects of their business strategies over the history of their operation.”

Participants from different undergraduate institutions were divided into five-person teams.

“We were placed in groups with students from other universities which meant that we had to formulate ideas, condense these diverse ideas and present a well-articulated and unified business plan with a group of strangers,” said McDonnell.

Each team was given a case simulating decisions faced by global business leaders that tested their ability to work as a team and solve problems creatively. They also demonstrated their skills and potential to succeed in front of an expert panel in a top-ranked MBA program such as the Simon Graduate School of Business.

McDonnell said, “Going to Rochester was a unique and fun experience and the competition itself was challenging. We were given a case study on Starbucks and asked to give a 15-minute presentation proposing new business strategies for the company in light of the recent decline in their stock prices as well as the numerous store closings over the last year.”

Four of the six Knox students participating won cash prizes with Wise in first place winning $7,000, Barton in third winning $2,000, Munir in fourth winning $1,500, and Kahn in fifth winning $1,000. In participating in the business competition, the rewards were more than monetary.

McDonnell said, “This competition gave us the opportunity to utilize all of the information we have been learning throughout our Knox careers and it was rewarding to see how our education applies to the business world.”

Sheena Leano

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