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First Oxford Global Private Equity Challenge Goes to Team From Haas

Case competitions may have gone remote, but they haven’t gone away.

One example comes from the Oxford Global Private Equity Challenge. This new competition, run by the Oxford Private Equity Institute, was scheduled to launch at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School this spring.

Instead, the inaugural competition took place virtually with a prize of $5,000 at stake. And with business schools from around the world participating, it was the team from University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business that emerged victorious.

The team included Swamit Mehta, Shawn Meyer and Luis Reina, all current Haas MBA students, and Austin Nalen, an MBA/MPH student.

Tasked with selecting a public company to buy out, the team proposed taking private a company called Medpace, which provides clinical research services to medical and pharmaceutical companies.

That choice was backed up with market research, financial modeling, expert interviews, and an investment strategy for taking the company private. All of which was apparently convincing enough to land the Haas team first place.

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According to Mehta, using the resources available at Haas was key. “The Haas community was our secret sauce,” he explained.

That’s partly because clinical research is an area in the healthcare industry that’s “extremely opaque,” so Mehta said the team was “able to rely on our healthcare-focused classmates for our research.”

Feedback from Haas faculty contributed to the team’s success as well. In Mehta’s words: “Huge thanks to Lecturer Steve Etter. Steve went above and beyond in terms of helping us draft our investment presentation and provoking us to think about the gaps in our investment thesis.”

In that sense, the success of Haas’s team demonstrates how the advantages offered by top MBA programs go far beyond coursework.

The network, new connections available to learn from, and opportunities to collaborate with people who have different areas of expertise are all benefits that come with being a member of a top business school’s community.

To put it another way, being engaged with a broader community isn’t just the “secret sauce” for teams participating in case competitions, but for MBA students in general.

Of course, that’s also why admission to schools like Haas is highly competitive. Gaining admission means showing the adcom that you’ll contribute a unique and valuable perspective when you yourself become part of that community.

We’re happy to help you find the most effective way to communicate what that perspective is. For personalized feedback on how best your application can convey your personal brand, feel free to contact us and ask for a free MBA application assessment!