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TCU MBAs Take First, Third and Fifth in Case Competitions

Teams of Horned Frogs are winning top spots in MBA academic competitions showcasing the power of purple. 

February 17,  2016

By Elaine Cole

A team of TCU MBAs won first place and $10,000 February 12 at the first Monsanto-Olin Case Competition at Washington University in St. Louis. The TCU MBA team beat out teams from Pennsylvania State, University of Missouri, Rollins College and Washington U. The competition was sponsored by Monsanto and concentrated on production planning issues in the agribusiness supply chain.

“We had a well-rounded, dynamic team to clearly articulate and present recommendations to the judges,” TCU MBA Peter Blair, said.

The winning TCU team included Blair, John Tate, David Kole and Justin Burns, pictured here with Joe Fox (center), associate dean for MBA programs at Wash U where the competition was held.

“The case was difficult and applied to real companies with real dilemmas,” Blair added. “We were judged by professionals from the company who helped write the case and who are working to solve the very problems we were tasked with. What better way to learn and strengthen our business acumen then a case like this. And it felt even better to win.”

TCU edged out the competition by focusing on how to use Monsanto’s product life cycle to better manage inventory levels, reduce working capital and improve farmer service levels.

Blair said the competition was “a great opportunity to showcase how great the TCU MBA is,” especially taking first place against other prestigious MBA programs.

At the University of Illinois MBA Strategy Case Competition February 4-6, TCU MBAs won third place against 13 teams from Arizona, Hong Kong, Baylor, Purdue, Iowa State, Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Penn State, Ohio State, Miami and State University of New York-Buffalo. Students analyzed a complex business strategy case and presented to a panel of judges from top corporations in the U.S.

“This was a great opportunity for our team to evaluate a company’s long-term strategy and pitch our recommendations to an executive team,” TCU MBA Casey Schuler said. “We had 24 hours to prepare for tough questions from the judges’ panel and think of creative, implementable solutions. Overall, it was an exhilarating experience.”

The TCU MBA team was made up of Justin Burns, Stephanie Stare, Schuler and Andrew Chapin, pictured here with Ed Riefenstahl (far left), director of MBA experiential learning at the TCU Neeley School.

At the Leeds Net Impact Case Competition at the University of Colorado Boulder February 12-13, TCU MBAs took fifth place out of 50 schools from around the world. The case centered on impact investing and sustainable business practices.

The team of Andrew Chapin, Meghan Dorman, Carrie Davis and Justin Burns, pictured left to right, went up against 49 other schools in the first round in December. They advanced to the final rounds and took on Berkeley, Dartmouth, Insead (France), Purdue, Georgia Tech, MIT, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Georgia, Rochester, Bard College, McGill Desautels (Canada), Pinchot University and American University, to take fifth.

“One of the experts who helped write the case told us that we are now among the top 500 experts in the world on impact investing,” Davis said. “Our team was exposed to new and innovative ideas for creating sustainable business practices that we can spread to those we work with in the future.”