Case Competitions: Lessons Learned Beyond the Classroom

Case Competitions: Lessons Learned Beyond the Classroom

For Kellstadt students, connecting with the business community is essential. That’s why the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business offers dozens of opportunities – from networking events to student organizations – for students to succeed. One of the best ways for students to demonstrate their business acumen are case competitions. Not only do they allow students to come up with solutions under a tight deadline, but they build comradery, leadership skills and set you up for career success.

Below we’ve highlighted two recent Kellstadt case competitions along with testimonies from students on how they benefited from the experience.

Kellstadt Marketing Group Cisco Case Competition

The winning team at the KMG Case Competition

MBA students (from left to right) Alexandra Kritikou, Edith De La Torre, Kelly Kester and Michelle Fronmuller won the Cicso Case Competition. | Photo by Kathy Hillegonds

Hosted by the Kellstadt Marketing Group, this year’s annual group case competition featured six teams of DePaul MBA and MS students developing a business solution to a challenge by Cisco, a global leader in IT, networking and cybersecurity. The goal of the competition was to give students a real-world experience of business strategy development.

On Feb. 22, each team presented a 20-minute pitch in front of a panel of Cisco executives (learn more about the competition from the winning team’s captain here).

The winning team – called team “M.A.K.E IT” – consisted of full-time MBA students with diverse backgrounds who pitched a Blockchain and IoT solution focused on the healthcare industry.

According to team captain Alex Kritikou, patience and teamwork are important components to a successful pitch. “Our approach was to learn as much as possible given the short timeframe,” she says. “Trust the process and your teammates and be honest with your teammates when you need help.” Team M.A.K.E. It agreed that the competition provided a unique opportunity to receive personalized feedback from a panel of experts.

Minority MBA Student Case Competition

DePaul team at the KeyBank Case Competition

Three Kellstadt students participated in the KeyBank Case Competition, which took place in Cleveland, Ohio in February.

The 2019 KeyBank Foundation Minority MBA Student Case Competition took place on Feb. 22-24 in Cleveland, Ohio. DePaul’s three-member team consisted of full-time MBA students, who were led by faculty advisor Neal Outland, an instructor in DePaul’s Department of Management & Entrepreneurship. The team pitched a solution to a business case that addressed issues with varied implications at either a national or an international level. Students from universities and colleges throughout the country competed. One of the participating students, MBA student Ewa Tran, says one of the competition highlights was getting to know her teammates and learning more about her strengths and weaknesses.

“Understanding how to leverage our strengths only improved our team cohesion as the weeks went by,” she says. “We applied different skills from different classes, and were able to come together as a team to compose a real-life business solution to KeyBank.”


As for students interested in future case competitions? MBA student Edith De La Torre, one of the members of team “M.A.K.E. It,” says to “be inquisitive and resourceful with the DePaul network and beyond. There is incredibly useful information and experts at your fingertips. Don’t get bogged down by technical terms, ask others to explain and simplify it. When presenting the actual business idea, focus on the big picture.”


Posted on

March 26, 2019

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