Concordias MBA Case
Competition team (from left to right): Timothy Field (coach), Donna
Morris (alternate), Dan Silverman, Anna Giampa, Volodymyr Maksymiw-Duszara,
Mohammad Ramzan, Noor Shawwa (assistant coach).
Photo by Andrew
by Melanie Takefman
Lets get to work! Volodymyr Maksymiw-Duszara
said with authoritative gusto. The four members of Concordias MBA
Case Competition team proceeded to outline how the worlds largest
pharmaceutical company would resolve their current management quandary.
The team was competing in the live case, the fourth in a five-stage round-robin
competition that brought together top management students from 30 business
schools around the world. Teams are presented with a corporate management
problem, which they must analyze. They subsequently present a solution
to a team of judges, all members of Montreals business community.
In its 22nd year hosted by Concordia, the competition epitomizes the universitys
motto, Real Education for the Real World.
What sets the live case apart, for example, is that unlike the other cases
used in the competition, which are theoretical, it is a real situation,
outlined on the spot by the companys executives. They look forward
to tapping into the wealth of fresh ideas circulating among management
The competition requires months of planning. However, once the main event
arrives, participants, coaches, organizers, volunteers and judges enjoy
a whirlwind week of intense competition and networking as well as social
activities and outings, including a city tour of Montreal and, this year,
a comedy night.
Competition to participate is fierce. Concordia coach Timothy Field, a
JMSB management professor, chose members of his team from among his MBA
students in his Strategies in Action: Case Competition course. The class
completed 11 case simulations during the semester. The Concordia team
then simulated 10 cases in the weeks leading up to the competition.
Team member Dan Silverman was attracted to the competition for the challenge
of doing a thorough analysis [of a case] in three hours. He explained
that all of his teammates are practiced at preparing elaborate preparations
over weeks. The time limit and intense atmosphere of the Case Competition
added a new dimension.
Silverman said that because the Case Competition is known to bring together
the crème de la crème of the MBA program, it
would be a welcome addition to his résumé.
However, in countries like Germany, where business education is very theoretical,
practical experience is a rare but increasingly attractive asset in todays
Mirella Orlovic, a student at the Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf,
said that the Case Competition gave her a taste of the mean guys
in the real business world.
She added that participation in the Case Competition was a way for her
small faculty to distinguish itself in a huge university. We wanted
to show that we have international experience and that we are open-minded.
She hopes that as case competitions become more common in Europe, employers
will understand the value they impart to participants.
Université Laval took first place in the competition, while York
University and the University of Vermont came in second and third, respectively.
The award for spirit, which is chosen by the participants, went to the
Helsinki School of Economics for their enthusiasm and sportsmanship. Concordias
team placed eleventh, missing the semi-finals by only one point. On January
13-15, Concordias team competed in a similar case competition at
Mark Burger, one of the Case Competitions organizers, said that
the experience allowed him to meet and interact not only with people
from all over the world, but from different spectrumsjudges,
students and coaches.
Weve shared an experience that have built friendships that
will last a lifetime, he said. Im sure of it.
Burger and his three co-organizers will receive academic credit for the
equivalent of two courses for their work. Now that the competition is
over, they will write a report, which will serve as a blueprint for next
Theyll have big shoes to fill! Burger said.
The Undergraduate National Case Competition will take place at Concordia