Southeast Business Students Qualify for 2020 NIBS Worldwide Case Competition Championship Round


Four Southeast Missouri State University business students have qualified for the Championship Round of the 2020 Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Worldwide Case Competition March 1-6 in Künzelsau, Germany.

Southeast is among 16 teams that have qualified for the championship round after presenting a business case during a November qualifying round.

“I am very proud of these students and the Business Case Competition Program that we have established at Southeast,” said Dr. Willie Redmond, professor of economics and the team’s coach and advisor. “It is an honor that Southeast is known as one of the leading case competition schools in the world, through our success in this competition.”

The international business case competition is sponsored by NIBS, an association of business schools from more than 30 countries located across the globe. The competition is a test of problem-solving ability, business acumen, cultural insight, communication skills and teamwork. It is the oldest and leading undergraduate business case competition in existence.

Members of the 2020 Southeast team are Dominick Gillette, a senior corporate communication major with double minors in integrated marketing communication and entrepreneurship from St. Ann, Missouri; Madison Francis, a senior double major in international business and hospitality management from Farmington, Missouri; Zachary Kalmer, a senior double major in accounting and finance from Albers, Illinois; Bhavya Narula, a sophomore cybersecurity major with a minor in economics from New Delhi, India.

The 15 teams joining Southeast for the championship round will be: Avans University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Bishop’s University (Canada), Budapest Business School (Hungary), California State Polytechnic University – Pomona (United States), Carleton University (Canada), Concordia University (Canada), Heilbronn University (Germany), International Business Academy (Denmark), Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (China), London Southeast Bank University (United Kingdom), Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), UC Leuven-Limburg (Belgium), University of Guelph-Humber (Canada), University of Prince Edwards Island (Canada), University of Technology Sydney (Australia).

Competing schools qualified for the championship round by solving a business case in an eight-hour timeframe. Southeast’s students worked in a room with only four reference books and no internet access to prepare a written report containing their analysis and recommendations. The Southeast team submitted its solution to the NIBS judging panel comprised of corporate professionals and academics who evaluated the proposals. From these entrants, 16 teams were selected to participate in Germany.

“The students put in the time to prepare for this experience, working on some weekday nights and notably five consecutive three-day weekends, to prepare,” Redmond said. “The students also simulated their eight-hour qualifying experience twice.”

The team has also received additional assistance and guidance from fall 2019 MBA graduate Sarah Monteiro from Jackson, Missouri, who was a member of Southeast’s 2018 team which qualified for and participated in the competition in Guatemala.

In Germany, Southeast will compete against the other top teams in a “world cup” style tournament. Teams have either three or four hours to get a case that they have not seen, solve it with only four reference books and no internet access, and prepare their presentations. Teams then make a 20-minute presentation of their solution to a panel of judges. The judges then conduct a 10-minute question-and-answer period, followed by the declaration of that round’s head-to-head winner.

The competition provides a valuable experience for Southeast’s students, Redmond said.

“They are given the opportunity to critically think through business scenarios and actively apply the knowledge that they have acquired in their business curriculum in the classroom at Southeast,” he said. “They also get the experience of traveling to a different country and interacting with students from different cultures.”

The 2020 Southeast team continues a proud tradition of the University being a steady qualifier over the years in championship rounds in Prince Edward Island, Canada; Dublin, Ireland; Coventry, United Kingdom; Newfoundland, Canada; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Leuven, Belgium; London, United Kingdom; San Antonio, Texas; and Guatemala City, Guatemala. Additionally, Southeast is the only university from the United States that has won first place in the NIBS Case Competition, as the 2012 team won the championship in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

“Our students’ success in this environment is a testament to the fulfillment of Southeast’s continuous efforts to provide student-centered experiential learning,” Redmond said. “Given today’s rapidly changing environment, it is notable that the Harrison College of Business and Computing has a keen focus on an interactive education with a global perspective.”

To be part of the University’s team, the Southeast students were selected in a tryout hosted by the Harrison College of Business and Computing. Students were given a business case and required to give a 10-minute presentation to Redmond and a panel of students from past case teams.

For more information about Southeast’s 2020 team and this year’s competition, click here.