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Marshall Undergrads Place Second in Case Competition

by Diane Lundin

Los Angeles forms the background for the USC case team and advisers’ tour of the Getty Center. From left, John J. (“Jack”) Dittrick, vice dean and director of undergraduate programs; Peggy O’Leary, undergraduate program special projects coordinator; Sean Stewart, Aric Davison, Amy Cottleleer and Carl Voigt.

A TEAM OF FOUR undergraduates from the Marshall School of Business placed second in the Marshall School International Invitational Case Competition on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Davidson Conference Center.

“As they said about themselves, they levitated,” said faculty sponsor Carl Voigt, assistant professor of clinical management and organization. “They did amazingly well. They gave their all in the competition. They did us all very, very proud.”

The Marshall team was represented by Sean Stewart, Amy Cottleleer, Rory Gibbs and Aric Davison. Mike Mische, an adjunct professor, was also one of the team’s faculty sponsors.

First place, however, went to the team from the National University of Singapore. They go home with the cup, plaques for each of the team members and bragging rights until next year’s competition. Third-place winners were undergraduates from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

ALSO COMPETING in the event were teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, McGill University, the Smeal Business School at Penn State University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Copenhagen Business School. All the schools but Copenhagen entered last year’s invitational.

“The level of competition was world-class,” Voigt said. “The one new school, Copenhagen, was caught by surprise by the level of competition. The students prepared very hard. They didn’t sleep. They competed around the clock until they presented the following day.”

This year’s case dealt with issues General Motors faced last year with its Saturn line of cars. On Thursday, Feb. 26, the students were given a 38-page Standard & Poor’s Survey of the auto industry to digest before receiving the actual case on Friday morning.

Once they had the case, they locked themselves in rooms with computers and Internet access for 24 hours to prepare their presentations. They delivered their 20-minute presentations on Saturday with each followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session before a panel of judges.

“The competition was very, very intense,” Voigt said. “We were all amazed at what our undergrads could do. Indiana was masterful. McGill made a gallant effort at defending their title. They all enjoyed themselves and said they would return next year.”

And Voigt said he was more than pleased with Marshall’s second-place finish. “We’re so stoked we came in second. We beat all the U.S. teams, we beat all the teams in the Western Hemisphere. We won second, we didn’t lose first,” he said.

Marshall Undergrads Place Second in Case Competition

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