From left to right: Tibor Gerliczy, Martina Stavikova, Dr. Larry Weinzimmer, Svatava Kubankova, Dr. Moustafa Abdelsamad (SAM President & CEO), and Brad Eskridge.

April 12, 2010

The pressure to win Bradley’s third consecutive MBA National Case Competition didn’t get to Brad Eskridge until after he and his team presented their case for a GPS service.

“I (thought about it) in the day between when we presented and when the awards were announced,” said the MBA student, who also received his undergraduate degree at Bradley.  “I was thinking, ‘I can’t go back to Bradley if we lose this thing.’”

But Eskridge needn’t have worried. He and his three teammates – Tibor Gerliczy, Svatava Kubankova and Martina Stavikova – won the open division and captured the Thomas Greensmith Trophy on Saturday, making Bradley the first school to win the open division three years in a row.

The MBA students prepared for six weeks for the Society for Advancement of Management’s 2010 International Business Conference in Arlington, Va. Under the guidance of Dr. Larry Weinzimmer, the team conducted research, surveys and marketing assessments for TomTom, the company that manufactures automotive GPS devices.

“I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many hours we spent on this,” Eskridge said.

Preparation included external and internal analyses, financial impact statements and short- and long-term strategies. Both Kubankova and Stavikova competed on the 2009 national championship team, providing experience and leadership during this year’s event.

During the competition, the team gave a 15-minute presentation and then answered questions for 15 minutes.

“I felt we were really prepared for it,” Eskridge said. “I think (the question-and-answer) really nailed it for the team. It wasn’t just information that we provided to them based on what we thought. It was information substantiated with primary and secondary research.”

The team was aided not only by their preparation, but by the tireless efforts of Dr. Weinzimmer, a professor of strategic management who coached all three championship teams,  and other Bradley faculty members.

“Everybody’s kind of getting wrapped up in this case competition being won for the third time,” Eskridge said. “But we don’t win for a third time without great faculty members; they have provided a solid foundation and education. Without that, we don’t even come close to winning.

“I'd like to thank Dr. Weinzimmer for all the work and preparation he gave us, and for all the time he gave up for us … and all the other professors at Bradley, too."

The Society for Advancement of Management was founded in 1912 by the colleagues of Frederick Taylor, the "Father of Scientific Management." It is a non-profit organization run and advanced by hundreds of volunteers that share an interest in becoming better managers. The Society's international headquarters is located in Corpus Christi, Texas.

WCBU: Interview with Brad Eskridge #mp3Player('/inthespotlight/story/audio/20100412mba.mp3')