With less than 48 hours to prepare their final presentations, eight UCR School of Business teams presented their case studies to a panel of judges at the inaugural UCR Business Case Competition on Feb. 25.
A team of graduate students—Jazmin Hernandez ’23 PMBA, Minhua Jiang ’23 MSBA, and Aarev Rawalh ’24 PMBA—were awarded the $300 first prize.
The teams were challenged with a case from the Harvard Business School, “3M: Rethinking Regionalization to Adapt to the Supply Chain Disruptions,” and made their presentations in person to the judges on campus.
“I think the reason our presentation was successful is that we brought our individual experience to the problem,” says Hernandez. “Our winning presentation was about a supply chain issue, and we focused on short-term and long-term goals integrating technology."
“Minhua brought her analytical background; Aarev brought his consulting background; and I brought in my experience working in strategy. We collaborated and exchanged ideas organizing our thoughts in a strategic way.”
In preparation, all teams participated in a January workshop, including a Saturday seminar on case study preparation led by Professor of Practice Sean Jasso and HCT Global Consulting/UBIS Adjunct Professor Erick Jensen. “During the workshop, students learned market sizing, market entry, and profitability within the larger framework of preparing case analyses for a client,” says Jasso.
Along with Jasso and Jensen, the judges for the day’s competition included Alyssa Stump Sherick ’16, ’18 MBA, foundations and grants deputy director with Best Buddies International, and Valtteri Salomaki ’20 MBA, CEO of EDGE Sound Research and co-founder of Free Logic Inc.
Hernandez is pleased with the victory, but immersion into a new and instructive experience is what she values most. “I was able to test my problem-solving methods, sharpen my speed and analytics skills, and learn about different industries,” she says.
“I gained insights on the supply chain industry, as well as how technology can be integrated within a global company. This allowed me to connect all the skills learned in my finance, marketing, information technology, and corporate strategy courses.”
This inaugural UCR Business Case Competition was envisioned by MBA students and members of the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management Women in Business organization led by Renuka Kulkarni ’23 MBA and Shubham Thakur ’23 MBA.
“The Women in Business recognized the need for more competitions within AGSM and were inspired by the 2022 UC Davis Case Competition,” says Jasso, who provided mentorship for the organization. “The case competition furthers the overall readiness of the UCR business graduates entering the competitive labor market.”
“I’ve never done anything like this competition before,” says Hernandez. “It was an amazing opportunity because it showed me I could think under pressure, speak confidently, and apply outside knowledge to find a solution.”
Header image (from left to right): Valtteri Salomaki ’20 MBA, Alyssa Stump Sherick ’16, ’18 MBA, Jazmin Hernandez ’23 PMBA, Minhua Jiang ’23 MSBA, and Aarev Rawalh ’24 PMBA, Adjunct Professor Erick Jensen, and UCR School of Business Professor of Practice Sean Jasso