In February 2019, university students from around the world gathered to compete in the CaseIT Competition, hosted by the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. For the second time in three years, the team from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University placed 1st overall, and a Kelley student was awarded top presenter for the second year in a row. The four students that made up Kelley’s team, Daniel McCauley, Matt MacNab, Camila Sanchez, and Shagun Mishra started strategizing and practicing with IU Clinical Professors Joel Rubin and Alex Barsi Lopes back in November 2018 and worked hard all the way through the competition.
Daniel partially credits the team’s win to the numerous case competition opportunities throughout their college career, including in the Operation and Decision Technologies Department’s Technology and Business Analysis class – a required course for all Kelley students. “Case work is such a significant component of so many different courses at Kelley, and it is in large part because of this that our team was able to be successful,” says Daniel. Even if a course at Kelley doesn’t contain a formal case competition, many have a group case project and presentation as part of their curriculum, regardless of major.
This year’s CaseIT competition consisted of two cases, one where the teams had five hours to analyze a business problem and plan the presentation of their solution and the other where they had twenty-four hours to accomplish these same tasks. Both cases concerned local businesses, and representatives of these companies were on hand to judge the presentations.
Camila, the Kelley student recognized as the top presenter at CaseIT this year, recognizes that the practice and the lessons learned from Kelley’s communication courses were vital in helping the whole team to communicate and present their recommendations effectively to the judges in both rounds. She explains, “The judges could interrupt and ask questions as we presented our solution, which made it a very engaging experience.” It isn’t unlike situations that may arise in their careers, especially as they being to work on projects with their co-workers or with their clients.
Camila and Daniel have since graduated and accepted jobs at Bain & Company and Salesforce, respectively. While their time at Kelley may be at an end, the experience they had, the success they achieved, and the lessons they learned will not soon be forgotten.