2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

Experience a different take on case competitions!

The 2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition will offer Illinois students the chance to address real-world business problems while specifically focusing on ethical and professional responsibility issues. This exciting 5th annual event is sponsored by the College of Business, Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, and supported by BP. Nine interdisciplinary teams comprised of juniors, seniors, and graduate students from business, engineering, law and related disciplines will have the unique opportunity to observe the BP trading floor and hear presentations from BP managers.

Information Session

Thursday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m. in 2057 Business Instruction Facility (BIF)


Apply Now


Applications are due by midnight on Monday, September 28, 2015.

Please click this link to apply: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/8050393


Key Dates


Midnight, Monday, September 28 – Applications Due
Please click this link to apply: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/8050393

Teams will be announced on Thursday, October 1.

Monday, October 5 Competition Kickoff and Workshop (attendance is required)
6:00-8:00 p.m., in 2007 Business Instructional Facility (BIF)

Friday, October 9 – Field Trip to BP’s Chicago office (attendance is required)
Transportation and meals will be provided
Leave campus at 6:30 a.m.; return at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21 Competition Day (attendance is required)
Participants need to be available from noon through 8:00 p.m. All activities will take place in the Business Instructional Facility on the UIUC campus.


Competition Format


Team Composition

Each team will be composed of four, full-time UIUC juniors, seniors or graduate students for a maximum of nine groups.

Since an intended goal of this competition is to have participants work on an interdisciplinary team, we would ideally prefer to have one student from Law, one from Engineering, and two from different areas of Business. At the same time, however, we realize that some flexibility in team organization may be necessary to best accommodate the skill sets and academic backgrounds represented by those who apply to participate in this competition.


Competition Day

This competition is designed to challenge students to consider how ethical and professional responsibility issues are influenced by stakeholder perspectives. Therefore, teams will prepare two or three presentations with each focusing on the interests of a specific stakeholder group (details will be provided when the case is distributed). While each of the presentations should be distinct, some foundational information will naturally be repeated in all of them.

Each presentation will be no longer than 30 minutes, including time for judges’ questions. All teams will present during the Preliminary Round and must be prepared to respond to the last case problem if they advance to the Final Round.

Judges in the Preliminary and Final Rounds will consist of industry and faculty experts who will be familiar with the issues presented in the case.


Case Competitions


Case Competition Overview

The use of case competitions in business programs at American colleges and universities is a long-held and highly regarded tradition. While each competition has its own goals and format, they all provide students an opportunity to explore business problems in new and challenging ways. At the same time, these exercises offer all the rewards and challenges of working in a team to accomplish a common goal.

The advantages of using a “live case” are many. Students have the opportunity to confront a real and current business problem. They are often able to work directly with a company and its representatives to gain knowledge about the organization, its mission, vision for the future, and the functional areas of its business – operations, finance, marketing, for example. In turn, companies receive fresh ideas for how to address a particular business issue from a group of students who bring new perspectives and insights to the situation.


Competitions help further develop students’ abilities in these proficiency areas:

  • Analyze business problems from multiple perspectives
  • Understand the interplay of the functional areas of business
  • Form convincing business decisions with incomplete information
  • Work productively in a team situation that closely mimics real-life business
  • Address competing points of view
  • Confront ethical considerations
  • Apply principles of professional responsibility to business dilemmas


It is these last two points – the ability to confront ethical business situations and to demonstrate professional responsibility in decision-making – that will serve as the foundation for the 2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition.

Developed in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business, the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society and BP, the competition case will have numerous ethical components. The proposed professional responsibility problems/dilemmas can potentially span any or all of the functional areas of business – e.g., marketing, finance and logistics. Given the complexities of the oil industry, teams will be composed of individuals from the areas of law and engineering in addition to business.



This event is being held in partnership with:



For any questions about the 2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition, please contact Kathryn Rybka at krybka@illinois.edu.