Case League Holds Final Case Crack and Closing Cocktail for Term
Individual students recognized for their participation over the term
17 Apr, 2012 12:59
An extra twist was added to the fourth and final case crack in this pilot project: one team of finalists from each of the two presentation rooms was given the chance to present again at the end, in a back-to-back round for the title of “Best Team.” Other members who had just finished the same case were present to watch and witness their peers’ winning recommendation, something that was not done in previous case cracks leading up to this finale.
Along with the final round’s winning team, individual students were recognized based on their participation over the four monthly sessions. This year’s awards included Best Male Speaker (Christopher Conery), Best Female Speaker (Naomi Desai), Most Improved Male (Daniel Sorek), and Most Improved Female (Jenny Kletinich).
The concluding cocktail was not only a chance to announce and award winners, but also to bring together the extended Case League family – the many staff, organizers, judges, coaches and participants involved. All were either selected or invited to help grow this program over the short three months since its inception.
The Case League experience includes selected mini business cases for participants to tackle on a monthly basis, as well as monthly workshops. These workshops are run by students and alumni who have developed notable expertise in these domains throughout their degrees, and are targeted at particular aspects of cases, such as presentation skills, finance strategies, and Powerpoint slide creations, to name a few.
The case method taught and practiced by Case League members aims to give a sharper edge to academic teams participating in competitions with other universities, as well as those who will be recruited with a case-based interviewing process. Current Case League member and incoming Co-chair for next year’s team, Jeremy Singer is a strong advocate of casework, which he describes as a “Unique opportunity for students to apply the skills learnt in class. Too often are students disillusioned by theories and models, unfortunately writing off the key concepts that are truly central.”
Case League members also had the chance to get to know each other throughout the winter semester by working in different teams every month. They became familiar with MUS President Dave Fortin, the Board of Directors’ Accounting Representative Eric Aboutboul, and the Board of Directors’ Marketing Representative Alyson Murphy, the three students who championed the initiative based off of an idea from the end of the Fall 2011 semester.
This triumvirate generously pulled together some of Desautels’ most prominent people, including successful alumni, international case competition veterans, staff members with various functional backgrounds, and BUSA 499 (Case Class) TA Sumira Jayabalan and Professor Richard Donovan. Though Case League is not a substitute for Case Class, nor will participants be given class credits for taking part, it is an attractive option for younger students to segue into the competitive realm of business cases. Given the limited spots in Professor Donovan’s popular Case Class, students who have chosen to get a head start through case league are in a favorable position to apply for the class in following years.
Case Class TA Sumira Jayabalan recalls her international case competition experiences as highlights of her university career, and feels they are an opportunity to “See the variety of problems that plague international businesses, and how other teams tackle these problems; which is an incredible learning experience.” She also emphasizes that cases have “First and foremost [been] a bonding experience” with global perks and friends to stay with across three different continents.
Bringing it back to a business perspective, Marketing Representative Alyson Murphy further explains to the Bull and Bear that this pilot project “Hoped to improve upon the external competitiveness of our students by starting to prepare them for case competitions earlier on in their Desautels career.” Along these same lines, members were also encouraged to take part in other complementary, case-related initiatives such as DMLS and MMICC to inspire and enhance their learning experience through other channels.
The current organizers’ vision for Case League’s legacy is to ensure that “Case continues to be an integral part of Bronfman life,” and that “The incoming executive team finds new ways to further competitiveness through new workshops, guest speakers and increasingly difficult cases,” says Alyson Murphy. The two-fold objective of Case League – to provide students with a realistic simulation of case competitions to apply time-sensitive critical thinking and presentation skills, and to improve Desautels’ representation at case competitions through progressive training and preparation – will be maintained for the upcoming years.
Moving forward, Case League expects to continue for the years to come, formally slotted under the MUS’s VP External portfolio. Participants are expected to double from 30 to 60 members, given the interest generated within the student body so far. Though plans have yet to be finalized, the organizers are considering adapting the upcoming structure to include two brackets in order to cater to students’ varying experience and skill levels.