2019 KeyBank UG symposium

From November 14 through November 16, KeyBank leaders joined faculty, staff and students at The Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business faculty to host 37 students from 22 different universities for the 12th annual KeyBank and Fisher College of Business Leadership and Creativity Undergraduate Student Symposium.

Held on the Columbus campus, the symposium gives talented minority undergraduate students, particularly from historically black colleges and universities, a transformative learning experience that hones their business acumen and helps prepare them for work-readiness and professional success in business.

This year’s three-day, intensive camp experience focused on leadership, creativity, financial modeling, spreadsheet management, the art of negotiation, and building your personal brand, among other topics. It also included a business case competition that pitted eight teams against one another to win a total of $4,400 in cash prizes.

“I was amazed by the knowledge and competitive spirit displayed by these students. It was clear to see that they represented the brightest undergraduate minds from across the country,” said David Harrison, senior director of Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach. “In addition to highlighting student talent, the symposium illustrates the positive impact that Fisher’s longstanding partnership with KeyBank can have in equipping future professionals with the skills necessary to excel as principled leaders.”

Using knowledge gained during the symposium’s workshops, participants in the case competition were judged on three categories:

  • Analysis – teams were judged on their understanding of the challenge and issue by identifying major and minor problems in the case, identifying, understanding and explaining the causes of the problems, and balancing qualitative and quantitative risks and opportunities.
  • Recommendations – teams were judged on whether their solutions were strong, logical and offered valuable, innovative solutions and ideas. Recommendations also included any anticipated problems and whether the team’s financial recommendations were strong and logical.
  • Presentation – teams were judged on engagement among the team, their knowledge, professional appearance and presentation skills. Additionally, teams were evaluated on their clear use of visual aids and graphics, whether their solutions were balanced across all case elements, and whether their responses to questions showed a deeper understanding of the complexities of the case.

Team and individual award recipients:
First place ($500 each)

Catherine Bautista  University at Buffalo    Accounting
Kaileb Cadet University of Connecticut Marketing
Elvis Gadtaula   University at Albany, SUNY  Digital Forensics
Lauren Hurley Michigan State University Human Resources
Sneha Arora The Ohio State University Finance

Second place ($300 each)

Veronica Arrascue Quiroz The Ohio State University  Finance
Charles Chirume   Central State University Manufacturing Engineering
Gerardo Lucena Michigan State University Supply Chain Management
Aarti Arun    Case Western Reserve University Finance
Alexis Douglas South Carolina State University Accounting

Best Presenter Awards ($100 each)

Aarti Arun   Case Western Reserve University Finance
Lauren Hurley   Michigan State University        Human Resources

Best Q&A Award ($100 each)

Farhan Bin Amjad     University of Northern Iowa Computer Science Engineering
Krystal Rivera    Cleveland State University  Accounting

The symposium is part of the continued collaboration between KeyBank Foundation and Fisher College of Business to help shape the next generation of business leaders. Since 2005, KeyBank Foundation has awarded or pledged more than $3 million to the college in support of two signature programs at Fisher: the undergraduate symposium held in Columbus each fall, and the KeyBank MBA Minority Student Case Competition which takes place at KeyBank’s Cleveland headquarters each spring.

2019 KeyBank UG Symposium winning team
Members of the winning case competition team at the KeyBank and Fisher College of Business Leadership and Creativity Undergraduate Student Symposium are recognized alongside Karen White (left), senior vice president of community relations and corporate initiatives at KeyBank, and David Harrison (right), senior director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach at Fisher.


Directed and administrated by Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach, both events offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to interact with and gain valuable learning from KeyBank executives. They also serve as a strong recruiting pipeline for KeyBank, providing access to talented students from Fisher and other prominent business schools across the country. 

KeyBank Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Corporate Initiatives, Karen A. White attended the three-day symposium and had this to say about the students attending: “The Symposium always draws highly talented, high-GPA student participants with high potential, and each year the caliber of students increases exponentially. I was impressed with how this year’s cohort leaned-in and deeply explored the various topics covered with perseverance, conviction and courage.”  White went on further to say “Someday these students will run corporations, build legacies, impact communities, discover, invent, and create new models, apps, or medicines, and serve our Country. They were, indeed, the best of the best, and it showed in their participation and engagement.” 

White and her KeyBank colleagues participated in the welcome reception, networking luncheon, and closing banquet of the symposium. KeyBank Leadership Development Manager Jennifer Cowles presented the session entitled “Building Your Personal Brand,” and she and other KeyBank executives also served as judges for the case competition.

Recruitment of graduate students to participate in the 16th Annual KeyBank Minority MBA Student Case Competition from February 28 to March 1, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio, has begun. Interested students can learn more or by calling David Harrison at 614-292-1017.