UT Dallas Cohort MBA Students Finish 4th
In Prestigious National Case Competition
Feb. 16, 2007
Four students in the Cohort MBA Program at the University of Texas at Dallas demonstrated their business acumen with a strong performance in one of the nation’s most prestigious case competitions for minority students. In an impressive display of innovative thinking and competitive spirit, the team won fourth place in the Key Bank/Ohio State University Minority MBA Case Competition held Feb. 2-3.
Participating teams had less than a month to develop a strategic plan to change the administrative structure of a fictitious bank in order to boost its performance. The UT Dallas team’s solution to the challenge earned it a $1,000 prize, as well as a trophy and a plaque. Team members included: Garima Jain of Jhansi, India; Judith Muigai of Nairobi, Kenya; David Thomas of Dallas; and Harish Toppae of Mumbai, India. Jain also captured first place in the “Best Q&A” category.
This year’s Key Bank competition, the first in which UT Dallas competed, featured 16 teams representing business schools from top universities around the nation. Teams from Purdue University, Cleveland State University and Vanderbilt University finished first through third, respectively, in the competition.
“Placing highly in the Key Bank Case Competition is a tribute to our students and faculty and the rigor of our Cohort MBA program, which focuses on cutting-edge thinking and real-world knowledge,” said UT Dallas School of Management Dean Dr. Hasan Pirkul. “The students’ success proves that our students are the cream of the crop, and we’re thrilled they were able to showcase their skills in this national competition.”
In recent years, case competitions have become a useful tool for UTD Cohort MBA students to put their newly acquired skills in strategic thinking and problem-solving to the test in a variety of areas. Last fall, Cohort MBA students were named as finalists in two national case competitions – a marketing competition sponsored by Dell/Microsoft and a finance competition sponsored by Citigroup Finance.
Winning such competitions not only raises the visibility of the university, but also helps Cohort MBA students hone their analytical, team-building and presentation skills, said Jyoti Mallick, director of the Cohort MBA Program.
“The students worked very hard, and as a team, they were really able to take their performance to an amazing level,” Ms. Mallick said. “They carry the flag for the program, the school and the university. All their hard work paid off in a big way, and ultimately the entire school gets recognition for something these four students did. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
Judges gave teams their cases on Jan. 5 and gave them less than a month to prepare a strategic plan for the competition. Team member Judith Muigai said two weeks prior to the event, students were working on the project a minimum of six hours a day.
“We were so thrilled when we found out we had made it to the finals,” Muigai said. “A lot of the schools had been there before and had an idea of what the competition was like, but this was our first time to compete, so making it to the finals was very exciting for us.”
Muigai said one of the biggest challenges, aside from coordinating the team’s already busy classroom schedules, was learning the minutiae of the banking industry, a field that, as a result of the competition, she may want to pursue after graduating from the program in December 2007.
“A part of me now wants to get into banking. The knowledge I gained from this case was tremendous. We were able to practice our interviewing skills and presentation skills and focus on a practical problem that you might face in life,” she said.
About the School of Management
Faculty in the School of Management at The University of Texas at Dallas rank 33rd in research productivity nationwide, based on publications in the top 24 business journals spanning all areas of business. Financial Times, using a broader set of 40 journals, ranks UT Dallas’ management faculty 30th
worldwide. Financial Times also ranks the university’s Executive MBA program 48th in the world and 22nd in the U.S, and U.S. News and World Report lists UT Dallas’ fulltime Cohort MBA program 54th nationwide and 25th at public colleges and universities in the United States. The School of Management is the largest of UT Dallas’ seven schools, with an enrollment of nearly 4,700, of which 2,500 are graduate students.
About UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,500 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.
Contact Jill Glass, UT Dallas, (972) 883-6298, [email protected]