The Charger Blog

Case Competition Brings Together Students from All Fields of Study

The University’s annual cross-disciplinary case competition enables graduate students to work together to address real-world workplace challenges, creating opportunities for enhancing teamwork, presentation, and critical-thinking skills.

April 6, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of case competition.
The University’s case competition brought together graduate students from all five of the University’s academic colleges and schools.

Sarah Todoroff ’20 MBA and her teammates, called "the Secret Seven," dedicated a significant amount of time earlier this semester to analyzing a case study called "Unilever Leadership Change: Challenges for Alan Jope." The case examined the issue of change management following the appointment of a new CEO at the leading consumer goods company.

After much preparation, Todoroff and her team presented their research and recommendations to a panel of judges at the University’s 4th annual cross-disciplinary case competition at the end of February.

"This was a great opportunity for me to join with students who are enrolled in other programs of study," said Todoroff, whose group captured first place. "My team was truly a global group of people, and I enjoyed collaborating with them."

"We learned from each other, and this was a great teamwork experience."Dwarkesh Chavda ’21 M.S.

Each team in the competition was made up of graduate students from all five of the University’s academic colleges and schools, creating diverse and integrative teams that were intended to resemble what students will encounter in the workplace.

The panel of judges the students presented to included Sylvie Harton ’18 EMBA, senior vice president and global head of strategy at Intrado, a global technology company.

"I love that so many students got involved," she said. "Preparing for this and presenting to the judges was not easy, but they did well. I’m very impressed."

The annual cross-disciplinary case competition enables students to network and develop analytical, presentation, and teamwork skills. In a keynote address after the competition, Christine Harvey ’16 EMBA, associate director of Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines Division, endeavored to help students build their leadership skills as well. She discussed her own leadership experiences – at Pratt & Whitney, at Sikorsky Aircraft before that, and during her 25-year career in the U.S. Army.

Image of case competion team The Secret Seven.
"The Secret Seven” present to a panel of judges.

"Every time I’ve stepped through fear, it was better on the other side," said Harvey, who also served as one of the judges of the competition. "Take that step of faith. You will not regret it. It is a privilege to lead – it is not a right."

Dwarkesh Chavda ’21 M.S., a candidate in the University’s engineering and operations management program, says the competition was a wonderful opportunity for students.

"I enjoyed being a part of this, especially because my teammates were from different fields of study," he said. "We learned from each other, and this was a great teamwork experience."