College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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4th Annual MBA Case Competition


“I was absolutely blown away with the presenter’s collective ability to answer our hard questions,” said Andrea Ballinger ’08 MBA about the 4th Annual MBA Strategy Case Competition. Ballinger volunteered as a judge for the competition that was held February 9-11 in the Business Instructional Facility.

12 teams of MBA students from Baylor University, ILLINOIS, Iowa State University, Miami University, Michigan State University, Notre Dame University, Nebraska University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Connecticut, University of Iowa, and University of Missouri arrived Thursday, February 9 for a networking reception. Early on Friday each team received their assignment, a case involving the French fashion house Louis Vuitton Malletier, and 24 hours to prepare presentations for the competition. Group presentations were judged on Saturday, February 11.

HD Supply, Inc., TriZetto, represented by Chaz Hinkle ’08 MBA, and Whirlpool , represented by Rob White ’08 MBA, sponsored the event and $7,700 in prizes.

The ILLINOIS team was comprised of four first-year MBA students, Stephanie Barry, Matt Foreman, Steven Houlihan, and Saurabh Shirolkar.

By afternoon on Saturday, judges had awarded first place to Iowa State University, second place to University of Iowa, and third place to ILLINOIS.

Additional awards were presented as follows:

Best Speaker – Preliminary Round
Saurabh Shirolkar, ILLINOIS
Ben Clark, Iowa
Annie Leonhart, Iowa
Steven Harris, Iowa State

Best Q&A – Preliminary Round
Diana Armendariz, Iowa State

Best Speaker – Final Round
Ben Clark, Iowa

Best Q&A – Final Round
Diana Armendariz, Iowa State

A dedicated alumna, Ballinger contributes her time to the MBA, helping rising young stars to sharpen their business skills and taking away inspiration for herself. “I find it absolutely valuable to learn from other brilliant minds about how they solve problems.  I am highly analytical but the analysis muscle needs to be exercised frequently in order to stay strong and I find these competitions a great vehicle for that exercise.”

Courtney Grussing, associate director of the ILLINOIS MBA program, also expressed her support for the event, “We were very impressed with all of the participants and give special thanks to the judges who volunteered their time. We are also very grateful for our strong relationships with companies like HD Supply, TriZetto, and Whirlpool who make such competitions possible.”

UIUC College of Business