Goodman School of Business ranks second in national case competition

A team of students from the Goodman School of Business at Brock University has placed second in Canada’s largest graduate case competition.

Goodman Master of Business Administration (MBA) students recently competed in the 2021 MBA Games hosted by Université Laval, which took place Saturday, Jan. 9 to Sunday, Jan. 10.

The format of the competition was altered this year to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions. While the games are traditionally held in person with short timelines for students to prepare a presentation offering a solution to a company’s problem, this year’s competition moved online and allowed teams two months to prepare.

Students from 16 business schools across Canada competed in three categories: spirit, which required teams to prepare a dance video; sports, which involved participants running or walking a minimum of 50 kilometres each; and academic, which had students prepare a three-page report based on a case they were given and then apply judges’ feedback to a live virtual presentation that explained their recommendations.

Goodman’s MBA Games team placed second out of 16 teams in the academic case competition category.

“I’m really excited and proud of the team,” said Teighan McIntyre, Goodman’s Student Programming Co-ordinator, who was one of two team coaches. “Placing second in a year like this really speaks to the reputation of Goodman and our students’ standard of excellence.

“Team members were located around the world in different time zones and most were balancing careers and full-time studies with the competition. Their success has raised the bar for students interested in participating in future case competitions,” she said.

The academic team was led by MBA students Anna Cherdakova and Manjit Hari as captain and vice-captain, respectively. Other student team members included Murtaza Lokhandwala, Vandhana Parthasarathy, Aravinth Ramalingam, Anushri Sachdeva, Syed Zarif Samdani and Jason Wagner. Shankar Narayanan acted as a student mentor and Jason Barfoot, International Recruitment and Admissions Officer, joined McIntyre as coach. Cheryl Furtado led the team’s efforts in walking and running for the sports category, and Anaida Patankar and Syed Zarif Samdani led the creation of the dance video for the spirit category.

Goodman’s academic team of eight was divided in half, with four students working on each of the two required cases. The first case examined the future of work for an international company: whether its employees should work remotely, at the office or a combination of both. The second case looked at how a Canadian consulting firm could market online events as a high-value solution for its clients.

“Winning was a result of years of practice,” said Cherdakova, who has participated in case competitions since her early days of being a Goodman MBA student. “The training I’ve received, and my experience working with others to analyze a problem and communicate a solution has made me a better presenter and public speaker. Competing in case competitions has been the best part of my MBA.”

Students drew from their experiences competing in other national and international case competitions as well their involvement in extracurricular programming, such as Goodman’s Consulting Pathway Program, which includes sessions on presentation etiquette, case interview skills and competitor development.

Students prepared for the MBA Games case competition by analyzing a sample case and giving a mock presentation to Goodman faculty members Eric Dolansky and Lewis Stevenson. Dolansky, who received the 2020 Goodman Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in part for his use of case studies in the classroom, also presented a two-hour seminar to the team on how to analyze academic cases.

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