The MBA Case Conference is the culmination of the Strategic MBA program. Students in the Strategic Management course (MGMT 6359) team up to compete in a case competition. Using all the knowledge, tools, and analytical skills they have learned in their finance, operations, marketing, accounting, economics, and management courses students work all semester long to review and assess a firm’s strengths and weaknesses and to identify opportunities and threats. Based on their analyses, students then offer strategic and insightful recommendations. In past semesters students have presented their analyses and recommendations for companies such as Apple, WalMart, PetSmart, Nucor Steel, and Compaq. Panels of judges – consisting of faculty, alumni, and local business people – sit in on each presentation, and judge students on content and presentation skills.
The MBA Conference is held on a Saturday morning, the last week of the semester. The winning teams are announced at a noontime luncheon, which includes a keynote speaker. Past speakers include Mr. Mike Willis, Chairman of the Willis Group, a leading executive staffing firm; Farouk Shami, Chairman of Farouk Systems, makers of well-known brands such as BioSilk and Chi; Ravi Kathuria, Founder and president of Cohegic, a management consulting, executive coaching and sales coaching firm; and Mr. Richard, a highly acclaimed speaker, trainer, consultant and author. Students typically comment that the case competition is one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding and valuable experiences of the MBA program. The confidence and teamwork skills they gain from this "real life" exercise is invaluable and is a springboard to future success!