Five Baruch MBA Students Win First Prize in Executive Leadership Council Business Case Competition

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Winners of the Executive Leadership Council's 2008 Business Case Competition flanked by their mentors from the Zicklin School of Business. From left to right: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Myung-Soo Lee, team captain Rory Christian, Sonya Spencer-Rocvil, Nicole Daignault-O'Malley, Cameca Johnson, Alexander Keel, Director of Graduate Student Life, Ginny Goldberg, Zicklin School of Business Dean John Elliott

New York, NY - March 28, 2008—A dynamic group of five Baruch MBA students outshone the competition to win the Executive Leadership Council’s (ELC) 2008 national Business Case Competition sponsored by Shell Oil. The victory is an especially sweet one because it marks the first time Baruch has entered the competition.

As one of two Baruch teams that entered, winning team members Rory Christian, Nicole Daignault-O’Malley, Cameca Johnson, Alexander Keel, and Sonya Spencer Rocvil each won $4,000 in scholarship money, and graciously donated their trophy to the College. This year, students were presented with a brand-repositioning problem stemming from Shell’s recent acquisition and integration of Jiffy Lube International franchises. The Baruch team’s winning solution used Shell’s existing resources to maximize their potential returns with minimal risk.

“I was so nervous when the judges announced the finalists,” said Johnson, “I’m so happy we won!”

The winning Baruch team along with teams from the University of Michigan and Florida A&M were selected as finalists from among 35 schools, including Kellogg School, Darden School of Business, Cornell, and University of Chicago. Teams presented their case analysis and solutions to judges from ELC and Shell Oil at the energy giant’s headquarters in Houston, Texas on March 13.

Baruch students are very comfortable in first place, having won or made it to the final rounds of eight undergraduate and graduate level competitions during the last year. Participating in experiential learning activities like business case competitions fosters leadership and teamwork skills while honing students’ communication abilities, both oral and written.

“The confidence that students gain when they realize they can compete against skilled rivals and win is immeasurable, and ultimately becomes a permanent asset for them” says Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Myung-Soo Lee, whose mentoring proved extraordinarily helpful to students. “The experience is one they will never forget.”

Director of Graduate Student Life Ginny Goldberg, who first identified the opportunity to compete, noted, “This win really highlights the students’ high levels of expertise and enthusiasm.” Goldberg’s vital work behind the scenes ensured that students had all the administrative and moral support they needed to win.

Both Lee and Goldberg credit the encouragement of Zicklin School of Business Dean John Elliott, a longtime proponent of student participation in business case competitions, as paving the way for Baruch’s recent history of success. Dean Elliott has encouraged the competitive spirit by implementing curricula that facilitates greater student involvement and interest.

The Executive Leadership Council is a nonprofit, membership organization representing the most senior African-American corporate executives in Fortune 500 companies dedicated to creating a network and leadership forum of excellence in business, economic and public policies. Established in 2002, the ELC Business Case Competition challenges predominantly multi-racial students to present viable strategies on an assigned issue.

View the ELC press release on the 2008 competition: Baruch College Wins The Executive Leadership Council's 2008 Business Case Competition Sponsored by Shell Oil Company

Lara Moon
Communications & Marketing
(646) 660-6093