Dec 10, 2021
Three Florida Southern College MBA students placed third nationwide in FSC’s annual MBA Case Competition. For the eighth consecutive year, Florida Southern sponsored the FSC MBA Case Competition, which ran from Sept. 29-Nov. 6. Each year, the case competition draws together MBA students from across the nation to compete in developing an innovative strategy campaign designed by the competition’s corporate partner.
Florida Southern’s team of Jill Boehmcke ’22, Ty Jenkins ’22, and Brittany Iamele ’22, who are all first year MBA students, finished behind only the teams from Rutgers University and the University of Alabama. The FSC team was coached by Dr. Matt Bernthal, Dr. Jenn Dapko, and Prof. Bernard Davis, a faculty advisory team from the College’s Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise.
Florida Southern’s MBA Case Competition provides MBA students with an opportunity to practice and hone research, analysis, and presentation skills that are critical in the corporate world. Since the competition’s case studies are drawn from an outside corporate partner, the student teams dive into real world questions and scenarios facing modern businesses.
The competition’s corporate partner this year was Truist, a national bank formed by the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks. Truist presented the 12 participating student teams, each made up of two-to-four MBA students, with individual case studies of issues facing the company and then judged each team’s proposed solutions.
Iamele described the FSC team’s case study and how it shaped her view of her own capabilities:
“Our presenting problem was aimed at how Truist might balance online banking services and innovative financial technology with their core values of personal customer relations and service,” Iamele said. “Over the last year, I’ve narrowed my focus to what I want to pursue career-wise in sport marketing, and yet the entire Case Competition experience gave me a much broader view of business. Stepping back and taking in the big picture of how a company like Truist wants to shape its vision was a great experience, while researching and giving my opinion on things that aren’t my specialty made me realize just how much I’ve learned so far in FSC’s MBA program.”
Student teams from across the country participated in the virtual event, including teams from Florida Southern College, Rutgers University, the University of Alabama, Florida State University, George Mason University, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, California State University of San Bernardino, the University of South Florida, and Indiana State University.
“It was an honor to be invited by Florida Southern to take part in the competition as a member of the team,” Boehmcke added. “The experience made me excited about my future. It’s exciting to see that I can be a person whose opinions matter; I can conduct research, present it, and people will use it.”
Jenkins agreed, noting that the experience really widened his perspective on what is possible for him in the future:
“This case competition made me understand they we all have ideas and ability to work together towards something greater,” Jenkins said. “It made me realize that there are opportunities to provide your knowledge and expertise in every business. You may think ‘These big companies have everything figured out,’ but, in reality, they need people like us to help solve problems and come up with new and innovative ideas. So, it made me think that my options aren’t limited. With the right knowledge and team, you can find yourself in almost anywhere working with anyone.”
The Truist panel judged the teams on both the quality of content and the quality of their presentation skills. Each team proposal was scored in light of how the students utilized key business skills such as research, analysis, presentation, creativity, and teamwork. As a live case competition, the student teams present solutions that are viable for real world implementation.
Truist’s Greater Polk County Market President, Rob McCollum, praised the students’ creativity and hard work.
“Our team enjoyed the process and hearing the great questions and ideas from the participating teams,” McCollum said. “The questions from the student teams showed the Truist team how serious the teams took the competition and were far deeper than our team anticipated. While this process was intended to help the MBA teams grow their knowledge, our team also learned a lot in the process. The great ideas and presentations show we have a bright group of future leaders ready to take the next steps in their careers!”
McCollum reiterated that many of the ideas presented by the student would soon be implemented by Truist on a local basis.
The winning teams were:
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