In early January, teams from top business schools converged on Deloitte University, Deloitte’s leadership development center in Dallas, TX.
Representing schools from MIT’s Sloan School of Management to Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the teams were gathered for a shot at winning $20,000 of scholarship money in Deloitte’s annual MBA Case Competition.
Ultimately, it was the four-person team from New York University’s Stern School of Business that came out on top. In the eighth year of the competition, Denitsa Kosharova, Kelly Williams, Eric Gioseffi and Utkarsh Satyawadi managed to secure Stern’s first win.
That accomplishment is even more impressive when you consider that the 16 teams competing in Dallas had already made it through an intense selection process. Initially, over 1,000 students competed in regional competitions, with only 64 making it to Dallas.
In Dallas, the teams were asked to address a business challenge from cold brew coffee company Chameleon Cold-Brew. The teams brewed up strategic proposals and then presented them to a panel that included Chameleon Cold-Brew’s CEO as well as, naturally, several leaders from Deloitte.
Kelly Williams, a Class of 2019 MBA at Stern and one of the team members, suggested to NYU’s student newspaper that, ultimately, the team’s success came down to its mixture of strengths and positive attitude.
In Williams’s words: “I couldn’t ask for a better team. We all brought different strengths to the table and were able to have fun despite the stress inherent in the competition environment.”
And Williams knows a thing or two about case competitions. This was his third in his time at NYU (three’s the charm!), and he says he “made it a priority to work with a different group for each competition.”
Eric Gioseffi, another team member, said his background in accounting consulting made it possible for him to “leverage my expertise to develop the implementation strategy and identifying risks associated with the business decisions we were proposing.”
He agrees with Williams’s conclusion that being able to effectively combine team members’ different strengths was key.
“While we all had a ifferent area that we focused on, the proposal was a collective effort,” he says. “We collaborated together during the storyboarding process, and were open to each other’s feedback.”
Amy Feirn, Deloitte’s national managing director of strategy and operations, congratulated the team from Stern and the other finalists, referring to them as “tremendous talent” who will “go on to make an impact in business as they have a great deal of creativity, insight and passion to offer.”
Besides insight and passion, an additional thing these teams have in common is that they’ve already won an important competition: the competition of getting into a top B-school!
If you’re wondering how you fit into this other annual competition of admission to top MBA programs and what your best strategies are, sign up for a free assessment! In MBA case competitions you might be on your own, but in the MBA admissions competition, the right support can make all the difference.