School of Business Administration

Scholars test growth strategy skills in first case competition

icon of a calendarNovember 4, 2021

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Scholars test growth strategy skills in first case competition
Business Scholars Nick Norman, Hannah Tucker, Alex Grenn and John Atkinson standing in front of a wall with "School of Business Administration" on it.
Business Scholars Nick Norman, Hannah Tucker, Alex Grenn and John Atkinson put their business and analytical skills to use to win the first Scholars case competition of the academic year.

In its first case competition of the academic year, five teams of OU Business Scholars faced off to develop strategies to support a Canadian company’s post-pandemic retention and growth.

Dealing with the same set of information, Scholar teams reviewed company background and goals, and analyzed industry and customer data to evaluate options, set a strategy and created create compelling presentations for the panel of judges.

After a full day of competition, the judges selected Team Grapefruits as the winner. Winning team members include John Atkinson, finance major, Alex Grenn, accounting major, Nick Norman, accounting major, and Hannah Tucker, operations management major.

“Team Grapefruits demonstrated its analytical ability by appropriately choosing relevant information from the case and applying it to the SWOT analysis,” said Jaemin Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor, management, who served as one of the faculty judges.

“Students sometimes forget that resources are limited, therefore strategy is often about trade-offs,” said Joy Jiang, Ph.D., associate professor, management and international business, faculty director, Scholars, who also served as a judge. “Choosing what not to do is equally important as choosing what to do. The winning team did a good job in assessing the resources needed to support proposed expansion.”

Case competitions present Business Scholars the opportunity to put their business education to the test in a collaborative, competitive environment addressing real world issues.

“Case studies not only allow students the opportunity to home in on the skills and knowledge they have learned in the classroom, but also get reality checks,” said Dr. Jiang.

Scholars past and present value the experience.

“Participating in the Scholars Case Competition requires creative and teamwork,” said Grapefruits team member Grenn. “Our team of seasoned and new Scholars worked hard together brainstorming, running through different ideas and select the best ones to present to the judges.”

For the October competition, five Scholar alums returned to Elliott Hall to coach and mentor the Scholar teams. The Scholar team members appreciated the encouragement for the competition as well as input on the value of the experience provides post-graduation.

“I really valued my experience in Scholars,” said Angelina Allen, MKT ’20, web site assistant, Shift Digital. “The hands-on exercises taught me how to complete tasks in a timely manner, be collaborative in teams and develop my leadership skills. Overall, it built my confidence. Everything I learned in Scholars, whether skills or concepts, I use today.”

In addition to Allen, returning Scholars included Cassie Harms, ACC ’19, MAcc ’20, staff accounting, UHY; Diana Racheva, MIS ’19, digital product manager, Quicken Loans; Laura Tack, ACC ’15, MBA ’17, assurance senior, PlanteMoran; and Ruben Toribio, ECN ’19, portfolio manager, international finance, Comerica.

Learn more about Oakland Business Scholars.

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