MBA Team Places Second in Case Competition

Nov 18, 2014

by Cary McMullen | Publications editor

Eight teams of MBA students from seven regional colleges and universities gathered at Florida Southern November 7 and 8 for the 2014 Business Strategy MBA Case Competition, hosted by FSC’s Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise. Florida Southern’s team of Aaron Fallaw, Alice Koehler, and Brian Faulkner placed second, behind a team from the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse School of Business.

Other schools represented included the University of Tampa, which fielded two teams; Stetson University; Troy State University; the University of Miami; and Southeastern University.

Barnett School Dean Bill Rhey said the competition showed the caliber of students at FSC.

“A Barnett School MBA team once again demonstrated that they can compete academically at the highest level. Great job of preparation and presentation!” he said.

The competition presented a business problem to the teams, which had to develop proposed strategies and give a 30-minute presentation to a team of judges. In this instance, the case involved creating a strategic marketing plan to raise $12 million for a proposed endowment fund for the Peace River Center, the behavioral and mental health treatment center that serves Polk, Highlands, and Hardee counties.

The event was coordinated by Assistant Professor of Finance Chuck DuVal, with assistance from Coordinator for Institutes and Graduate Programs Andrea Merritt and graduate assistants. DuVal said the key to the FSC team’s second-place effort was extensive research and focusing on the right story lines to sell the Peace River Center to potential donors.

“The Peace River people were blown away by some of our slogans and story lines. Our message was just as clear as the team from the University of Alabama, only theirs had a little more sizzle,” he said. “It was a great inspiration to our students to be able to compete on the same level.”

This was the first such case competition FSC has hosted, and DuVal said he anticipates it will be an annual event. Dean Rhey noted that the other teams of contestants, the judges, and the event sponsors praised the quality of the event.

“Andrea and the graduate assistant team worked hard to coordinate a fine competition, which should only become better known and more successful in future years. It was an example of great teamwork,” he said.