Darden MBA Team Wins Deloitte Case Contest

Darden MBA students James Morris, Maeve McGilloway, Claire Williams and Chris Nelson (L-R) emerge victorious at Deloitte's sixth annual National Case Competition

Darden MBA students James Morris, Maeve McGilloway, Claire Williams and Chris Nelson (L-R) emerge victorious at Deloitte’s sixth annual National Case Competition

It probably helped a lot that the Darden School of Business is one of just a handful of prominent business schools where the case study approach to learning is paramount. After all, over the course of Darden’s MBA program, students have to read, absorb and study more than 500 real-life business cases.

So all that practice certainly wasn’t a handicap when a team of four Darden students–Maeve McGilloway, James Morris, Chris Nelson, and Claire Williams–won the sixth annual National Case Competition held at Deloitte University, taking home the top scholarship award of $20,000. MBA teams from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School came in second, third and fourth, respectively.

This year’s challenge involved a difficult business issue for New Profit, a Boston-based nonprofit venture philanthropy fund focused on large-scale, systemic impact and breaking down barriers that stand between people and opportunity in America. Fifteen finalist student teams from top MBA programs analyzed the challenge at Deloitte’s campus for learning and leadership development near Dallas, Texas.

EACH STUDENT TEAM HAD 11 HOURS TO DEVELOP A STRATEGY

Each team was provided an eleven-hour time limit to develop a growth strategy that addresses New Profit’s various fund structures and positioning to attract future investment. Teams presented their strategies and recommendations to a panel of judges that included leaders from Deloitte and the social impact community.

“This was an exceptionally strong field of competitors, and Darden and the rest of the finalists should be proud of their achievements,” said Amy Feirn, national managing director for Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Strategy & Operations practice and a competition judge. “Given the complexity of the case and the nuances of the social impact sector, I was impressed by the students’ ability to develop creative, insight-driven solutions. I have no doubt they will play key roles in shaping the future of business.”

Deloitte said that student teams from the following schools were also recognized for their efforts:

Tuck School of Business – $10,000
Booth School of Business – $6,000
Kenan-Flagler Business School – $3,000

SOME 17 JUDGES PARTICIPATED IN THE COMPETITION

During the case study competition, the following judges evaluated the work of the teams:

Justus Kilian, investment manager, Acumen
Mallory Brown, brand ambassador, CrowdRise
Vilas Dhar, founder and CEO, Dhar Law – Next Mile Project
Dana Ledyard, managing director, GirlsWhoCode
Jon Imerman, founder and chief mission officer, Imerman Angels
Vanessa Kirsch, founder and CEO, New Profit
Bob Searle, managing partner, New Profit
Sam Hiersteiner, managing partner, New Profit
Tulaine Marshall, managing partner, New Profit
Jeffrey Watts, advisor, Omaze.com
Dorothy Gorman, senior vice president, Project Lead The Way
Zach Friedman, partnerships, Raise.Me
Alex Khachatryan, CEO, Reasoning Minds
Victoria Wolodzko, vice president of research and community health program operations, Susan G. Komen
Shawn Magill, vice president of strategy and operations, The Charity Network
Young Rhee, chief of staff, Uncommon Schools
Jo Scharmann, CFO, United Way (Mile High)

“The national case competition is one of many real-life experiences that the Deloitte Foundation provides to supplement in-classroom learning and sharpen future talent,” said Carol Lindstrom, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and president of the Deloitte Foundation, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to once again sponsor this competition. All of the competing teams should be pleased with their hard work.”

In addition to the winners, this year’s finalists included teams of students from the following MBA programs:

Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
Columbia Business School
Cornell University (Johnson)
Duke University (Fuqua)
Emory University (Goizueta)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
New York University (Stern)
Northwestern University (Kellogg)
The University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)
University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
University of Michigan (Ross)

DON’T MISS: GUIDE TO MBA CASE COMPETITIONS