MBA students take 2nd in Florida case competition

(L-R) Petra Bolfikova, Darin McCoy, Will Yeager, Sabina Hlinenska, and Dr. Larry Weinzimmer.

April 12, 2011

While most people travel to Florida for pleasure, a team of Bradley graduate students recently visited the Sunshine State for business. 

MBA students Will Yeager, Petra Bolfikova, Sabina Hlinenska and Darin McCoy participated in the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) International Case Competition in Orlando March 31- April 2. The team was coached by Dr. Larry Weinzimmer.

Bradley's group brought home second place after pitching its plan to judges.

“I was excited,” McCoy said. “I think our team put in a tremendous effort for the project and it was awesome to hear we got second.”

Bradley placed first in the SAM International Case Competition for the last three years, so students were glad to rank high again this year.  

“It's a proud achievement for Bradley students to be recognized on a national level,” McCoy said. “It shows the level of dedication of the business program at Bradley. And it shows the talents that students from Bradley have to offer to a national competition.”

In a case competition, teams analyze a written case about a business. Then, they must research and develop solutions for that company’s problems and propose them to a panel of judges. Scores are based on presentation skills, creativity and responses to questions asked by the judges.

This year’s contest focused on Whole Foods Market. Bradley’s members started working on the case in mid-February, each member putting in 10 to 50 hours a week on the project in addition to their regular class and professional work.

Though it was a monumental task, McCoy said the time spent on the case was worthwhile.

“The most rewarding thing of the experience was getting to apply all of the content that I had in my capstone course to a business scenario similar to what a consultant would have.”

McCoy is eager to apply the data analysis techniques he learned from the contest to his job at Caterpillar.

“It's a real-life application,” McCoy said. “I think some of the things we did in the case competition with the statistical correlation of survey material is extremely valuable for what we do at Caterpillar. I think we could use those correlations of employee opinion surveys to efficiently diagnose some of our company's issues.”