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Posted 11.30.09

Two groups of undergraduate students recently competed at national business competitions that not only helped foster leadership skills, but undoubtedly provided invaluable experience.  These students were excellent representatives of our undergraduate management community, and were outperformed in their competitions by teams that ended up placing second or first in the overall competition.  

The first group participated in the seventh annual Eller Ethics Case Competition from October 22-24, 2009 at the Eller College of Management of The University of Arizona.  This competition exposes students to a thought-provoking business ethics case that they could face in their professional careers.  This year’s team, consisting of undergraduates Sarah Hutnik and Justin Williams, competed with teams from 26 business colleges from around the world.  Their case related to Tata Motors’ introduction of the Nano, an inexpensive, mass-produced car in India, and the contextual social, environmental, financial and economic barriers that must be addressed before introduction to the Indian marketplace.  

A second group took part in the McCombs International Business Challenge (October 27-November 1, 2009); a student led undergraduate business case competition held every fall for the last 16 years at The University of Texas at Austin.  The competition brought together students from 20 of the best universities from around the world to find a solution to a real-world problem confronted by a modern business firm.  This year, team members Ali Briggs, Brian Kovach, Anne Phalen and Jonathan Radke, were given the opportunity to test-drive a consulting role for a $30 billion dollar firm, Motorola.  The team learned many valuable lessons, including the importance of effective time management, rising up against adversity (a sick team member) and the importance of the international connection to the business world.  Team members felt it was an amazing learning opportunity that will remain with them in their future endeavors.

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