Last Friday was the Internal Case Competition for the 2011 MBA class. Since I am trying to broaden my MBA experience and hone my public speaking skills, I decided to take part in the competition. My team was comprised of three other first year students: Emily Bae, Joseph Lopez, and Chris Kessler. The case was on Microsoft (circa November 2008.) At the time their search engine, msn.com, was a distant third to Yahoo! and the behemoth Google. We were asked to conduct analysis on Microsoft’s current search engine and to produce recommendations accordingly. After extensive research on both the market composition and the existing client experience, our recommendation was for Microsoft to pioneer a brand new experience called, Microsoft MiLife (patent pending).
MiLife is an all-inclusive system where a user sets up a personal profile and comprehensive data is collected and maintained for each person. This would be a person’s Internet identity and a portal to everything they need online. For example, MiLife would be an amazon.com for the entire Internet, not just for things placed on Amazon. Our goal was to avoid regurgitating bing.com, but to make bing.com better.
The project took us the entire day to complete and we presented to four judges (one of which was Dean Wruck) the next morning. Although we were uncertain that the judges would like our idea, we pitched our idea with as much passion and energy as possible. Later in the day we learned that we had won the case competition for our room and we received Barnes & Noble gift cards. This also means that my team is eligible to represent Ohio State in the Big Ten case competition.
Overall, the case competition was worthwhile. Although it took up a lot of time (all day Friday and half a day on Saturday), the pros certainly outweigh the cons.