First-year MBAs win Cornell case competition

Author: Carol Elliott


A five-member team from the University of Notre Dames Mendoza College of Business finished in first place and won $6,000 in the recent HABLA Case Competition hosted by the Johnson School at Cornell University.

Margot Woolley, Keith Flatley, Gabriel Kacarab, Rohit Jacob and Clinton Branam – all first-year master of business administration (MBA) students – competed against teams from six other schools during the competition on Nov. 9 and 10.

HABLA stands for Hispanic-American Business Leaders Association, a student club at the Johnson School. For the competition, the teams were assigned the task of studying how telecommunications company Embarq Corp. could best increase its market share in the rapidly growing Hispanic community.

The Notre Dame team made three recommendations during the 15-minute presentation, focusing primarily on leveraging Embarqs existing partnerships with Dish Network and other technology services, Woolley said. She credits the victory to the groups concentration on supplying practical implementation strategies for the recommendations.

Case study competitions typically task teams with analyzing an issue or problem at a major corporation. The team must arrive at a solution or recommendation within a very short time frame and with no advance preparation. Case studies provide students with opportunities to develop problem-solving skills under pressure, using a real-world scenario.

The win speaks loudly about both the quality of students in our MBA program and the ability of the team to work effectively, efficiently and creatively under pressure,said Edward J. Conlon, Mendozas associate dean of graduate programs.

New York University took second place. Other schools competing included Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon and Purdue Universities, and the Universities of Rochester and California, Berkeley.

_ Contact: Edward Conlon, associate dean, Mendoza College of Business, 574-631-7685 or_ " " _.

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