Team Places 2nd in National Business Competition
Four MBA Students Developed Mock Marketing Plan for Dell and Microsoft
Oct. 10, 2008
Excelling under extreme pressure, a team of four MBA students placed second in a national competition that called on them to apply their business school expertise to real-world challenges.
UT Dallas was bested only by a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the prestigious Dell/Microsoft Marketing Case Competition.
The final competition was held at the National Society of Hispanic MBA conference and career expo in Atlanta on Wednesday.
“The competition organizers from Microsoft and Dell have never recognized a runner-up team, but in announcing the winner last night in Atlanta, the executives from both companies commented that the final score was so close they would be remiss in not recognizing UT Dallas,” said School of Management Assistant Dean Monica Powell.
Students were given five hours to develop a strategic plan on how Microsoft and Dell should approach entering the Chinese market.
“We were given our case at 10:30 in the morning and had to present it in front of the judges at 3:30 in the afternoon, so there wasn’t a lot of time, but we had done a lot of preparation and research, and we all work well as a team,” said team member Liz Reeves.
“I think our win was a testament to not only what we’ve learned in the program and outstanding faculty, but also our diverse background and experience that helped us really pull it together as a team,” Reeves said.
The other members of the UT Dallas team were Arijit Choudhury, Daniel Farthing and Aishwarya Rao.
“We were so happy to carry the flag for the program and the university, and it was exciting to see UT Dallas’ school colors and logo at the recognition ceremony knowing that we were responsible for it,” Choudhury said.
One of the biggest challenges the team faced was trying to squeeze in time for team meetings four to five times a week while juggling classroom and work schedules of the four busy students, who are all second-year students planning to graduate in December, Choudhury said. He believes the group’s commitment and teamwork helped lead to its success.
“I think it really helped that our team has worked together for a long time. Our team is dynamic, and we are very comfortable working together,” he said. The challenge the students were presented with was relevant, he said, but members “wrestled with it and our solution nailed the problem on the head.”
The team made the list of six national finalists out of field of 44 last spring in the preliminary competition and outshined such prestigious business schools as the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina, the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University in the finals.
UT Dallas Full-Time MBA students have made it to the finals six times in the 7-year-old competition.
“I’m very proud of our students. They work really hard as a team, perform well under pressure and are excellent representatives for UT Dallas. They are clearly prepared to provide business case solutions for real-world problems,” Powell said.