Fantastic four finish first in international business competition

A Business School team took out the Marshall International Case Competition, held on the University of Southern California campus this February.

Social networking and visits to Santa Monica and Hollywood were part of a trip of a lifetime for four talented students who travelled to Los Angeles to compete in a prestigious international case competition, and returned to Auckland with the winning trophy.

Emily Hacket Pain, Luke Davis, Ellie Cammell and Trinayan Krishnan, coached by University of Auckland alumni Matt McQueen and supported by Business School benefactor Raymond Webb, battled it out in the Marshall International Case Competition held on the University of Southern California campus.

Competing teams from 19 premier business schools worked under pressure to solve real business problems while up against simulated conditions such as time-critical deadlines and incomplete information.

The case company the teams were presented with was Oracle, a business that works to target critical healthcare challenges worldwide.

They were tasked with proposing a strategy for the company to address actual challenges including the ability of Oracle to manage large databases and its need to protect the privacy of patient information.

Competition judge Ramon Reynoso, Emily Hacket Pain with the Marshall Case Competition cup, fellow competitor Ellie Cammell, judge Amir Ganaba, and teammates Trinayan Krishnan and Luke Davis.

All teams had 24 hours to analyse the case, identify the issues, prioritise the drivers of value and draft a proposal. They then presented their proposals to a panel of industry experts.

The competition was a two-round process. In the preliminary round, Auckland was in a division with Berkeley, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Indiana State and Singapore Management University.

Emily, Luke, Ellie and Trinayan presented uninterrupted for ten minutes before they faced 15 minutes of questions from the panel. They handled the challenge with immense skill, according to the judges, and were awarded first in their division.

The finals on Saturday, 25 February, saw the team compete against the University of Southern California, Concordia (Canada), the National University of Singapore and Washington University St Louis.

The Auckland squad again performed with skill and creativity and took out the overall competition winning not only the Marshall Cup, but also the people’s choice award and the best speaker award, which went to Ellie Cammell.

This year marks the fourth time a University of Auckland team has won the case competition, making it the only team to have won so many times in the history of the challenge.