April 9, 2012

Connecting with Industry Leaders - Tech Strategy Business Case Competition

Post by:
Sidharth Ramsinghaney
MBA, 2012 

At Boston University School of Management, graduate students are expected to do a lot more than sit back and take notes. Every day they challenge their professors and classmates, discover global perspectives, and gain hands-on experience in the market. But most importantly, they connect with industry leaders thanks to opportunities such as case competitions.

Recently the 7th Annual International Tech Strategy Business Case Competition, held on March 29-31, 2012, brought together graduate students from 16 of the most prestigious graduate business programs around the globe. The event was sponsored by Ericsson, an industry leader in mobile broadband Internet communications whose mission is to “innovate to empower people, business and society.”

16 teams from the most prestigious graduate schools around the globe along with the Boston University Tech Strategy Student Organizing Committee. Photo by Julie Cordeiro

The 24-hour, invitation-only competition asked students to solve a market challenge focused on technology in business strategy and operations. With industry leaders as judges, four finalists were chosen to compete for the top prize of $25,000. 

First Place - Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
The team from the Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill was awarded the top prize of $25,000. Pictured, from left to right: Todd Valentine, Case Competition Committee Chair; Maciej Dudek, Rohan Vaidyanathan, Christophe Renaud, and Jae Lee, the winning students from Kenan-Flagler; Boston University School of Management Dean Kenneth Freeman; and Helena Norrman, Senior Vice President and Head of Communications, Ericsson.  Photo by Eric Zhang

The teams were challenged to illustrate how Ericsson can leverage the power of mobility broadband and cloud technologies in the education sector to create a Networked Society by 2015; and to recommend strategic partnerships or alliances that Ericsson should explore. 

With little sleep and a lot of coffee, the teams spent 24-hours producing their presentations for a panel of Ericsson judges. Each team of six produced a short iPad video, many scrambling to become multi-media and education experts literally overnight. The background presented for the case briefed them on how previous technological innovations in education, such as iTunes U or interactive white boards, were changing the landscape of learning.

“The most challenging and interesting part of this experience was seeing how Ericsson – one of the most cutting-edge communications companies in the industry – could bring innovation to a sector that has changed very little in the last 100 years,” one team member said. 

Many of the teams flew thousands of miles for a chance to work one-on-one with Ericsson executives at the event, a unique networking opportunity. Despite the long flights, sleepless nights and intense workloads, they are hoping be back next year for another rigorous competition. 

With case competitions like this, it’s clear to see why Boston University’s graduate MBA program is a highly ranked program and why graduates of the School of Management’s MBA program are among the top recruited graduates in the Boston area. 

Sidharth Ramsinghaney is a 2nd year MBA with a dual concentration in Strategy and Operations. His professional background has been in Business Development and Consulting. Sid has led the BU team and won a number of national level business case competitions and is on the leadership board of the BU MBA Consulting Association, Asian Business Club and the Tech Strategy Business Case Comp Organizing Committee. Outside of school life, Sid- loves to meet people, is passionate about Corporate Strategy, and enjoys traveling and playing Squash.

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