On March 2, nine teams of DePaul MBA and MS students participated in the inaugural Kellstadt Marketing Group Case Competition. Working in small three- to five-person teams, the students developed a strategy and delivered a 20-minute pitch that outlined the recommended course of action for the company. The goal of the competition, originally conceived by Mako Kosugi (MS Marketing), was to give students real-world experience of business strategy development and proposal pitching to a panel of expert judges from Microsoft and DePaul.
“This competition was designed to enrich student growth through experiential learning, as well as to build greater engagement with the business community,” says Olena Cruz, an MBA student and president of the Kellstadt Marketing Group. “Not only did the students have to work together to conduct research and come up with evidence-based recommendations, but they had to pitch their strategy directly to a panel of expert judges. This experience helped prepare students to handle such project requests of this
magnitude and scope post-graduation.”
Cruz applauded the support of DePaul’s administration and faculty. “It was not only the students who were so motivated and engaged. This event wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of our proud alumni, our beloved professors, and the support of the Kellstadt administration, including DePaul President Dr. Esteban, who also attended the event.”
A trio of Microsoft executives served as judges for the event, including Joe Veverka, strategy, innovation and analytics program manager; Diran Hafiz, head of advertiser analytics, automotive & careers/EDU; and Teresa Swinton, strategic sales director. From DePaul, Mark Skroch, adjunct professor of marketing, and James Moore, director of online learning, also evaluated the presentations.
“Results of the KMG Case Competition were eye-opening,” Veverka says. “In addition to the huge amounts of innovation displayed by the teams, the diversity of both ideas and team members was exciting to see unfold. Student expertise ranged from marketing to economics and a broad range of age, gender and backgrounds were represented. It was inspiring to witness how the inclusive culture at DePaul translates into exceptionally diverse thought and creative solutions to real business challenges.”
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