October 22, 2012

BU to host 1st Annual Global Health Sector Interdisciplinary Case Competition

Post by:
Sam Schweizer
HSM/MBA 2013

This is a very exciting year for BU and the health sector program as we are hosting the 1st annual health sector case competition, which will occur on November 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. This is one of the many initiatives Dean Freeman has spearheaded and a huge coup for our school. BU is partnering with DePuy Synthes Spine (recently merged), a Johnson & Johnson company. The competition is partly modeled after the Tech Strategy Case Competition, which BU has successfully hosted for the better part of a decade. 

Case competitions present students with a business problem to solve. The cases are usually around ten to twenty pages with exhibits. Students have a predetermined amount of time (24 hours for the health care case competition) to analyze the case, develop solutions, and present their proposal. Business professionals, including senior leadership from DePuy, then evaluate the teams based on the quality of their work, the novelty and feasibility of their proposed solutions, and the presentations themselves. Students utilize their newly acquired MBA skills and leverage their past professional experience in developing their presentations. Case competitions are great practice for working in a high functioning team to deliver a quality solution under a very tight timetable. For this competition, the top three teams receive cash prizes of $20,000, $7,500, and $5,000, respectively. 

BU is hosting an impressive list of schools for this competition. In addition to the BU team, teams from CEIBS (China Europe International Business School); Frankfurt School of Finance and Management; Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Harvard Business School, Harvard University; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad; IPADE Business School, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico; Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto; Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science will be in attendance. Needless to say, this competition is a fantastic opportunity to network with students from other graduate schools and judges from the business world. 

In order  to select a team to represent BU, we hosted an internal competition on the weekend of October 6th. Eight teams participated in a format very similar to the November competition format. The internal selection round gave teams a chance to work together in the competitive setting, and was a good trial run for the planning committee too.

This has been an amazing experience for me personally. I’m project managing a team of faculty and students to put on this event and we’ve been working since last April. It’s definitely been challenging balancing my internship over the summer and my school work since September with my duties for the case competition. I’m glad to say that I have been able to apply much of my learning from my first year at BU, from operations to organizational behavior. My previous work experience and summer internship definitely helped equip me with an understanding of how to drive this process. With two weeks to go, we’re really in the thick of it, and all I can say is that I’m very excited for November.

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Sam Schweizer is a 2nd year HSM/MBA student with experience in health care recruiting. He completed an internship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts over the summer. Sam loves planning events for his fellow students including ski weekends and golf outings, and he even does bachelor parties.


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