A group of Southeast Missouri State University business students has qualified for the Championship Round of the 2018 Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Worldwide Case Competition championship round Feb. 25-March 2 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
The NIBS Worldwide Case Competition is an international business case competition sponsored by NIBS, an association of 86 business schools from more than 30 countries located across the globe. It is the oldest and leading undergraduate business case competition in existence, said Dr. Willie Redmond, professor of economics and the team coach and advisor.
Members of the 2018 Southeast team are Sarah Monteiro, a senior international business major from Jackson, Missouri; Rachel Orf, a senior economics major from O’Fallon, Missouri; Collin Ritter, a senior corporate communications major from Advance, Missouri; and Bhanu Sehgal, a senior double majoring in accounting and mathematics, actuarial science option, from New Delhi, India.
The 15 teams joining Southeast for the championship round in 2018 will be: Avans University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Bishop’s University (Canada), Budapest Business School (Hungary), Carleton University (Canada), Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), Heilbronn University (Germany), Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics (China), London South Bank University (United Kingdom), Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Shantou University (China), UC Leuven-Limburg (Belgium), Universidad del Istmo, Guatemala, University of Guelph-Humber (Canada) and University of Prince Edward Island (Canada).
“It is quite an accomplishment to be just included in the final 16 teams that are invited to the championship round,” Redmond said. “Southeast has established a tradition over the years as a steady qualifier, as we have qualified for the championship round in past years in Dublin (IE), Coventry (UK), Newfoundland (CA), Rotterdam (NL), Leuven (BE), London (UK) and San Antonio (US). We have achieved several semi-finals finishes and one first-place win in 2012.”
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, NL.
The teams qualified for the championship round by solving a business case in an eight-hour time frame. All 86 of the NIBS member institutions were sent a business case in early November. It was up to the case competition advisor for each institution to maintain a strict and ethical process by which the students work out the solution, Redmond said. The students were in a room with only four textbooks and no internet access. Schools then sent their submission to the NIBS judging panel, where they were evaluated. From these entrants, 16 teams were selected to participate in Guatemala.
“To simulate the setting of the competition in Guatemala, the students have practiced with several cases,” Redmond said. “I am always impressed with the time and effort that the teams put into preparing for the competition. The students this year are very involved in classes and other activities, but they have found the time to come in and practice at night and on the weekends. In fact, they came in and completed their qualifying case on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving Break.”
In Guatemala, Southeast will compete against the other top 15 teams from around the world. In a “world cup” style tournament, they will complete a different case against a different team each day, and sometimes two per day. The teams will have three or four hours, depending on the day, to prepare their presentations. During this stage, students are sequestered in a room and given a business case to solve with only four reference books and no Internet access. At the end of this period, they must come out and immediately make a 20-minute presentation of their solution to a panel of judges, just as a consultant would do for a client. The judges then conduct a 10-minute question-and-answer period following each presentation, followed by the declaration of the round’s winner.
“Participation in the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition is another step in Southeast’s continuous efforts to ‘provide student-centered and experiential learning’ and to provide ‘a thorough general education with a global perspective,’” Redmond explained. “This is an invaluable experience for our students. On one hand, they get the experience of thinking through varied business problems in a competitive setting, as a paid consultant may have to do. Just as importantly, they get the experience of traveling to a different country and interacting daily with students from different cultures.”
*Photo caption: From left are Collin Ritter, Bhanu Sehgal, Dr. Willie Redmond, Rachel Orf and Sarah Monteiro.