TCU MBAs Take First Prize and $15,000 at ACG Cup Case Competition

TCU’s stellar finance MBAs won again this year, for back-to-back wins in the Association for Corporate Growth’s Texas-wide competition. 

March 23,  2016

By Elaine Cole

Taking on other MBA students from across Texas, TCU proved once again that they have what it takes to win. The TCU team walked away with the First Place trophy and $15,000.

The TCU MBA team of Cameron Mitchell, Brett Baldwin, Varun Gadia and Zach Westbrook impressed judges with their thorough knowledge of mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity.  They advanced through two rounds, presenting to a panel of seasoned M&A professionals from the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). 

“We got a lot of support from John Ball, our mentor with ACG, and last year’s winning TCU team, who came back to campus to talk about their experience and give advice on what we should and should not be doing,” Gadia said.

To say the team was well prepared would be an understatement.

“I think we practiced the presentation 30 times, including the trip to Houston in the car,” Gadia said.  “Everybody knew their part by heart. You could wake me up at 3 a.m. and I would know it! Every question the judges asked, we had already practiced it. We were so confident we knew everything.”

Mitchell said the win was the culmination of their TCU business school experience. “We utilized what we’ve learned in finance classes, and the presentation skills we practiced in the Professional Development Center our first year, and being in front of people for two years, in class and out, that combined with our teamwork. We each have unique skills, and when you put it all together we have a great team.”

The winning announcement was especially memorable for Westbrook, who had to leave the competition after their final presentation to fly to Louisville for a job interview. In the middle of the interview, his phone was blowing up with texts about the TCU win.

“I had told them (interviewers) about the competition earlier, so they said, ‘You have to pull out your phone and check it,’” Westbrook said. “I got to announce in middle of my interview that we had just won 15 grand.”

“This is my fourth M&A competition, my second with these guys and the last competition for us in the TCU MBA program before we graduate. To be able to end on this high note meant a lot of all of us,” Baldwin said. 

ACG Chapters nationwide host ACG Cup competitions, enabling ACG members to forge closer relationships with the leading business schools in their region, while introducing the next generation of business leaders to the premier M&A, corporate growth and corporate development community.