The longest 2 days of your life (AKA the Case Competition)

This weekend Fisher College of Business and Whirlpool hosted the first MLHR internal Case Competition. The event began at 8am on Friday and ended at 4pm on Saturday- and we all needed the remainder of the weekend to recover from it.

Not for the faint of heart, a case competition provides teams with approximately 22 hours to come up with recommendations about how to solve a current business issue. My team went into the competition with a plan for staying on track- here’s what it looked like:

  • Spend the first 30 minutes individually reading the case and thinking about recommendations
  • Discuss the case for 1 hour and then divide the issues amongst group members
  • Individually tackle the business issues for 1.5 hours and then discuss findings with the rest of the group
  • Start working on the powerpoint presentation slides by 4pm
  • Practice the presentation by 8pm

Ha! All plans and schedules seemed to go out the window once we got started and hit a few snags. Here’s how things really went for my team:

  • Spent the first 45 minutes individually reading the case and thinking about recommendations
  • Discussed the case for 1.5 hours and then divided the issues amongst group members
  • Individually tackled issues for 1.5 hours
  • Spent 30 minutes talking about how tired and burnt-out we were feeling
  • Discussed our findings and recommendations for about 4 hours
  • Started working on the powerpoint presentation slides at about 7pm
  • Spent 1.5 hours working on Excel charts to add to the presentation
  • Reviewed and then debated each recommendation we had come up with
  • Finished the powerpoint presentation slides by 10:30pm
  • Decided to call it a night and practice the following morning

At 10:30pm on Friday night, I think everyone was feeling tired or frustrated and wondering what on earth had motivated us to sign up for such a grueling competition. But after the first round of presentations on Saturday, we all couldn’t stop smiling and talking about how much fun we had presenting our recommendations to Whirlpool. There’s nothing quite like presenting your recommendations to a panel of judges, addressing all the tough questions that they interrupt your presentation to ask, and then being able to pat each other on the back when you walk out of the presentation room still in one piece. And it didn’t hurt that there were plenty of cookies and pastries waiting for us after we presented. :)

"What's that- you say there will be cookies at this case competition? Ok- sign me up!"


1 Response to “The longest 2 days of your life (AKA the Case Competition)”


  1. 1 James Duade March 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Great report Kathleen, thanks for the write up.

Comments are currently closed.

The content and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by The Ohio State University or Fisher College of Business.