2017 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition

2017 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition Winners:

1st Place Team: Abhishek Bandar, Sharon Kirchner and Yogita Talathi

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2nd Place Team: Gaurav Ashok, Pecheng Cao, Micaela Cui and James Zenn

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3rd Place Team: Isaac Dickson, BrettSimpson, Nathaniel Stoll, and Trisha Vuong

226 PRSC

Check back for 2018 Application Dates and Deadlines.

The Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society and the College of Business have partnered with BP to sponsor the Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition. This competition will allow you to work with students from diverse academic backgrounds on real-world issue in the world of Business Ethics. It will also give you the opportunity to meet with and learn from BP professionals during a visit to BP’s Chicago office. Any junior, senior, or graduate student in business, engineering, law or another related discipline is welcome to apply.

Interviews with past participants were conducted. See interviews about their experiences:



Competition Format                                         091 PRSC

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.

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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.127 PRSC

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 2017 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.

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This event is being held in partnership with:

College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Center for Professional Responsibility in Business and Society



For any questions about the 2017 Professional Responsibility Strategy Competition, please contact Gretchen Winter at gwinter@illinois.edu or Jeff Kurtz at jmkurtz@illinois.edu.