Internal Case Competition

This weekend, Fisher hosted its annual first-year internal case competition.  A case competition is essentially a mini-consulting project.  An actual business situation, as summarized and published by prominent business school publications (e.g. The Harvard Business Review), is presented to a group of students who have a relatively short amount of time to analyze the case, synthesize a recommendation and present and defend it to a panel of judges (representing executives of the company from the case).

Many case competitions are held as intercollegiate competitions (e.g., the Big 10 Case Competitions) or are sponsored by outside interests and organizations (e.g., the Proctor & Gamble Case Competition and The National Black MBA Association’s Case Competition).  However, Fisher is relatively unique in that it holds its own internal case competition for MBA’s only.  By holding our own competition, we can cost effectively (without travel costs and registration fees) allow everyone that wants to to participate.  Additionally, our internal case competition is used as a sort of audition for the aforementioned intercollegiate competitions.

The case revolved around Microsoft’s place in the internet search industry (from the perspective of September 2008).  We were fortunate that this was a company, industry and product that we were relatively familiar with.  We were given the case on Friday morning at 8:00 AM and were required to submit a finished PowerPoint deck by 8:00 AM on Saturday.  The first teams began their presentations at 8:45.

My first experience with a case competition was a bit unusual.  Due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances our four-person team was reduced to only two.  Despite our best efforts to manage our time, sleep was definitely sacrificed in order to put forth the best product possible.  We did not win, however our efforts were rewarded with a “Best Q&A” award.

I want to thank my teammate, Angela, here for convincing me to compete despite our disadvantage and pushing to put together the best solution possible.

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