Iowa State MBAs did it again! This time, the team took third place at the Tepper International Case Competition hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA on November 11-12, 2016. Katelyn Bell, Pallavi Rao, Mayaz Kabir, and Aseem Dande represented the Iowa State MBA program in this highly competitive event where their divisional round included MBA teams from MIT Sloan School of Management, University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business, and The Ohio State University.
MBA teams from Arizona State University, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, University of Pittsburgh, The Ohio State University, NYU Stern School of Business, Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business, Purdue University Krannert School of Management, Penn State Smeal College of Business, Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School, and USC Marshall School of Business also participated in this year’s Tepper International Case Competition.
While celebrating the team’s success, we interviewed Katelyn Bell about their experience. Here’s what she shared:
1. How do you feel your performance compared to the rest of the MBA teams in the Tepper International Case Competition?
We weren’t able to watch any of the other schools present, but we were able to receive some feedback. We were told that in the final round, we had a solution that was different than the others and that we had a more personal approach. One judge commented that “we won their hearts” with the business pitch by recognizing how important their employees are to them and how they have an impact on the world. Most schools just started throwing numbers at the judges right away while our team focused on connecting with the judges first and then going into our solution.
2. What is your most valuable takeaway from this experience?
My most valuable takeaway from this experience is to never underestimate yourself and your team. Going into this competition, our team didn’t know how our small-town Midwest perspective would stack up against the East coast giants. When we found out that we went on to the final round as the wild card, we couldn’t have been more surprised! But looking back, we shouldn’t have been as surprised. We put the time and effort into making a quality solution and presentation and deserved to move on to the finals.
3. What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my team. We proved that Iowa State can compete with some of the most elite schools in the country by bringing a new perspective to the case presentations. My team gave it their all because we wanted to represent Iowa State to the best of our ability.
4. What did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed the networking aspect the most. Since we had to complete the case and submit the presentation before we arrived in Pittsburgh, most of the weekend was left open to networking with students from CMU and the other schools present. We created a number of new friendships and plan to keep in contact with them in the future.
5. What would you like current/prospective students to know?
Case competitions can be exhausting, but I believe they have helped me grow tremendously as a young professional. It makes you apply everything you’ve learned in your core classes to a real-life situation. In addition, it helps condition you to working under extreme pressure as well as develop your presentation and public speaking skills. I would recommend applying to at least one competition during your time in the MBA program. Placing in the finals is an added bonus!