University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM School of Business Administration Students Participate in First Case Competition

The UVM team greets the judges

Five University of Vermont School of Business Administration students tested their analytical and presentation skills north of the border last week during the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before,” said Alyssa Hoyt, a Business School junior concentrating in finance.

Hoyt, Joseph Nerone, Bradley Opsahl, Seth Gilbert, and Tommy Barkovic (alternate) represented the School of Business Administration during the weeklong, student-run competition in Montreal.  In all, 20 teams from internationally renowned business schools participated in what is called one of the world’s largest and most prestigious international case competitions at the undergraduate level.

“The case competition develops problem solving abilities, analytical abilities, time management capabilities, presentation abilities and confidence in presenting to a range of business audiences,” said Dean Sanjay Sharma, of the School of Business Administration. 

The competition consisted of three stages: two preliminary and one final stage.  The preliminary stages divided teams into six divisions.  Each team presented three, three-hour cases in a round robin and one 24-hour case; the team with the highest score in that division advanced to the final stage.  The School of Business Administration team was in second place going into the second preliminary stage but unfortunately did not make the finals.

“I really am proud of our team,” said Thomas Chittenden, of the School of Business Administration.  “They spent many hours preparing for this competition and I was pleased that they won two out of the three cases in the first round. Even though they did not make the final round they learned many skills that will stay with them long after they graduate.”

“I really like presenting, I like to learn the information a lot and then start trying to get comfortable with it so I can have a conversation with the judges,” said Bradley Opsahl, a Business School senior concentrating in accounting and finance. “Using the framework tools in a real-world situation we’ve really grown as a team being able to apply all those frameworks and make a tangible finished product.”

“We’ve logged a lot of hours and it was intimidating coming into it and seeing how much we’d actually be doing and how much we had to allocate each week but I think it’s been a great experience,” said Hoyt.  “One of the greatest takeaways is being comfortable presenting.”

The overall winner of the competition was Maastricht University in the Netherlands.  Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Carlton University in Ottawa placed second and third.

The School of Business Administration is hosting several Case and Business Pitch Competitions in the coming months.  Visit our website to learn more.