UST MBA Team Excels in NBMBAA Chrysler Case Competition

The Case competition team of Nigel Brown, Joelle Purvis Allen, Monica Ricard and Kamaj Bailey with Dean Puto, Left and Prof. Arnold, right.

The UST MBA case competition team of Nigel Brown, Joelle Purvis Allen, Monica Ricard and Kamaj Bailey with Dean Puto, Left and Prof. Arnold, right.

The NBMBAA/Chrysler Case Competition is one of the world’s most exciting business case challenges. Each year, a new case is written and judged by Chrysler executives and staff, and $50,000 in prize money for the top three teams is on the line. As a result, students from some of the country’s top MBA schools turn out to compete. This year, 30 teams from around the country have traveled to Houston to pursue recognition and prize money, along with an opportunity to network with Chrysler execs and corporate recruiters.

2013 is the second year that the University of St. Thomas has sent a team to the competition. The 2013 team includes Kamaj Bailey, Joelle Purvis Allen, and Monica Ricard (with Nigel Brown as the team alternate). They’ve been working just over a month, since August 8, when this year’s case first became available. The team was sponsored by GE Capital Fleet Services.

Teams were directed to prepare and analyze a complex business case, showcase their problem solving skills, and present their findings before a panel of C-suite executives from leading corporations and academic institutions across the country.

Assistant dean Bill Woodson noted that “the quality of the dry run rehearsals suggested that the team had put together a very strong analysis and presentation.” The plan outlined in the team’s presentation addresses the challenges facing Chrysler in the L.A. market.

After their initial presentation at the case competition Wednesday, dean Christopher Puto was confident in their performance. “The team was SPECTACULAR!” he said in an email to staff and students back on campus.

Woodson reported, “I’ve attended more than a dozen case competitions in the past 5 years, and I’ve never witnessed a group of judges speak in more glowing terms about the quality and professionalism of a presentation than the reaction heard I this afternoon in response to our team’s 20 minute presentation followed by a ten minute Q&A session.”

Sure, our team’s champions may be a little biased.

But Thursday morning the announcement came that the UST MBA team made it into the final round of the competition. They were one of just six teams to advance from the field of 30. Other finalists included Clark Atlanta University, Emory, Penn State, Rice University, and the University of Illinois.

Students and staff back on campus were waiting Friday for word of how their classmates fared in the final round. Turns out, Bailey, Purvis Allen, Ricard and Brown are in good company. They took third place in the final round, bringing home a $10,000 scholarship prize. First place went to Clark Atlanta and second to another Atlanta school, Emory.

Other schools participating in the competition this year included Baylor, Bentley, University of Virginia (Darden), Duke (Fuqua), George Washington University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins, New York University, N.C. State, Purdue, Texas A&M, Texas Southern University, Texas Women’s University, Ohio State, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, University of Georgia, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, Washington University in St. Louis and Vanderbilt.

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