Undergrads Crush Competition at Regional Conference
Business students Isaiah Odunlami '14, Ashley Novakowski '15, Alex Rodriguez '14, and Nicolette Martin '14 won their case competition at the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Eaducation (IACBE) Northeast Regional Conference on October 12 at Fisher College.
The students were asked to analyze a case in which Wal-Mart, opening a new store in Inglewood, California, received resistance from the community. When the students arrived at the conference to present their research, they were told they would be competing against a group of MBA students from another college.
The title of their presentation, "Your Community Partner," focused on engaging local businesses and communities in the Inglewood area. They recommended offering a loyalty card to customers who shopped at local businesses, allowing space for a locally-owned fast food store rather than a national chain, and other ways of reaching out to the community.
"You need to work with communities and not against them," stated Ashley, a healthcare management major. "Usually Wal-Mart stores are opening in rural areas where they are more welcome because there aren't as many choices. But Inglewood is an urban area and a tight-knit community."
The IACBE judges - using a rubric that scored in categories like eye contact, visual aids, and content - were impressed with the polished presentation and body language of the four students and declared them the winners, granting them the opportunity to compete in the National IACBE case competition in Orlando, Florida in April 2013.
"The students had one week to analyze and present, it was great to see this group of students come together, use their analytical skills and hard work to win as a team," said Amanda Huston, assistant professor of accounting and finance.
The IACBE was founded in 1997 in response to the expressed needs of presidents, chief academic officers, and business deans and chairs who wanted an accreditation process that was not driven by prescriptive standards relating to inputs and resources, but was mission-driven and outcomes-based.