Strategy Competition

2016 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

The sixth annual Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition hosted by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, the University of Illinois College of Business, and BP was a success again this year. Thirty students on nine teams competed for two intensive weeks to find profitable solutions to professional responsibility and business challenges faced by World Petroleum, a fictitious oil company seeking to expand its business in the fictional country of Afrinia. The student participants were quite diverse—they were from nine different countries, six different colleges, and seventeen different majors–and their teams were deliberately designed to take maximum advantage of that diversity of experience, perspective, and thought

Each team presented professional and well thought out ideas as they responded to pointed questions from four to five-member judge teams. Three teams were selected to advance to the final round, and the six judges in the final round each played a stakeholder role in the scenario, which made for a lively and challenging final round.  The competition was so fierce among the final three teams that the judges decided to award two second place prizes!

Congratulations to all of our participants and winners—

First Place

Team 3: Xue Jun (June) Feng, Kaone Setsiba, Trevor Wiles

Second Place

Team 1: Oladimeji Famuyide, Hiam  Hafizuddin, Siran Wang

Team 8: Jaclyn Kaminski, Aditya Ramesh, Zehuan (Nico)   Song

There were awards given to the best speakers and best question and answer in each room during round one. Congratulations to the following award recipients—

Best Speaker

Lore Muraina, Trevor Wiles, Oladimeji Famuyide

Runner-up: Bridget Haby

Best Q&A

Aditya Ramesh, Yixuan (Antonia) Wang, Siran (Susan) Wang

A special thanks to all of our judges—

From BP: Tim Harms, John Bartels, Kristina Irvin, Kevin Kapala, Derk Wehner, Mark Stanke, Zack Starbird, Jane Stricker

From the University of Illinois: Mark Peecher, Carlos Torelli, John Bradford, Barry Dickerson, Morton Lane, Nicola Sharpe, Jeff Beavers, Tracy Parish, Madhu Viswanathan

Illinois Alumnus and Former Competition Participant: Catherine Galiardo of World Fuel Services

Special thanks to Dean Jeffrey Brown for his support and words of welcome just before the final round and especially to Kathryn Rybka, Lecturer of Business Administration, for her dedicated work to plan and organize the Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition.

2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

The 2015 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition asked nine teams of graduate and undergraduate students to create an ethical and professionally responsible strategy for solving a significant and recurring problem in the oil industry. The three person teams worked together over nearly three intensive weeks to developed a solution and presentation that described their approach.

Congratulations to the first second and third place teams as well as those who received individual speaker awards—

First Place:

Jensen John, Mei Zhang, and Andrew Kim.

Second Place:

Reahman Afshar, Ruofan Fu and Ashutosh Pradhan

Third Place:

Michael Chao, Hemalatha Kamaraj and Jingyu Li

Individual Round One Award Recipients:

Best Speaker

Hardika Narula,  Ruofan (Ariel) Fu, Hemalatha Kamaraj

Best Q&A

Mei Zhang , Reahman Afshar, Tolani Odutayo

Special thanks to our judges, too—

John Bradford, Jim Dahl, Tim Harms, Mark Peecher, Sharon Weiss, Morton Lane, David Olsen, Tim Reierson, Darcy Sementi, Nicola Sharpe, Dan Casey, Brooke Elliott, Michael Fricke, Richard Johnson, Shirley Criddle, Larry DeBrock, Mark Stanke, Tony Valente

As they do every year, our judges noted the many countries represented by the students in the competition as well as the obvious camaraderie and demonstrable teamwork that contribute to the success of the event.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Professor Kathryn Rybka and the generous sponsorship of BP who help make this annual Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition possible.

2014 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

The 2014 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition offered Illinois students the chance to address real-world business problems while specifically focusing on ethical and professional responsibility issues. This exciting third annual event was sponsored by the University of Illinois and supported by BP. Nine interdisciplinary teams comprised of students from business, engineering, law and related disciplines had the unique opportunity to observe the BP trading floor and oil refinery, as well as meet and hear presentations from BP managers. read more about the 2014 Strategy Competition

2012: BP leads college exercise in professional responsibility

Working with the University of Illinois Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, BP Integrated Supply and Trading Global Oil-Americas (IST GO-A) sponsored and led 36 undergraduate and graduate students in a strategy competition that addressed the professional responsibility challenge involved with building a downstream fuels business in a developing nation.

In the strategy competition each team presented their analysis and solutions to a distinguished panel of judges from BP, the University of Illinois, legal, and business professions. The team that presented the best articulation of case objectives won the top prize of $2,000 in scholarships. “This is our second year and BP’s partnership with the Center continues to deepen and grow,” said IST GO-A Head of Operations Tim Harms. “This competition further advances the dialogue about the importance of professional responsibility with both current and future business leaders.” “Gretchen Winter, the Executive Director for the Center, and I were thrilled by the level of interest in this competition and the outstanding quality of students who applied. We picked the best of the best and ended up with a mix of students from 11 different countries with a wide range of academic and cultural backgrounds. The diversity of the student teams was fantastic and many of the students mentioned that this level of diversity was one of the unique benefits of this competition.”

Said Zackary Starbird from BP IST Legal: “The student teams that participated in the University of Illinois Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition were outstanding. They committed an enormous amount of time and energy into their presentations. As judges in the final round, we were very impressed by the quality of the presentations of the finalist teams.”

Said Jim Bordignon from BP IST Legal, Ethics and Compliance: “The students who participated in the Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition clearly developed a deeper understanding of the complex ethical and legal challenges facing professionally responsible businesses today. The commitment, enthusiasm, and performance of the students demonstrates the value and the importance of the alliance between BP and the University of Illinois and its Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, an alliance that we will continue to grow.” As part of the competition, the students traveled to BP’s Chicago office and the Whiting refinery. Their itinerary included BP presentations about refining, IST, bribery and corruption, HSSE and community outreach.

Students expressed these sentiments, reflecting the positive experience of all participants:
– “This case competition helped me step out of my comfort zone and develop as a responsible global operator. The main takeaway I learned from this case competition was that you need to stay true to your values in both your personal life and professional career.”
– “I appreciate the contribution of staff of BP and the Center of Professional Responsibility. The Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition is the most well-prepared event I ever participated, especially the trip to Chicago office and Whiting Refinery.”

The winning team included students Akash Moradia, Yanzhong Deng, Xiongwei Zhang and Jessica Weaver. Best Speaker and Best Q&A awards went to students Nicholas Connolly, Lindsay Gross, Jessica Weaver, Nikhitaa Sundaravadivelpandiyan, Arjun Dutta, Yijin Iris Zhang and Akash Moradia.

2011: Multidisciplinary Teams Challenged in New Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

The inaugural 2011 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition was sponsored by the Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society, BP, the Center for International Business Education and Research, and the James Scholar Executive Committee. Six teams took on a complex 66-page case that situated them as analysts employed by a fictional international energy company, World Petroleum, Inc. Their challenge was to create a business plan to build a long term, financially successful downstream oil business in Afrinia, a fictional developing African nation. The plan’s objectives also needed to include the team’s vision of professional responsibility within the business, as well as the Afrinian society in which it operates. read article »