by Katie Anderson (Class of ’16)
At 3:00pm on January 22, 2015 ten teams entered the WSB executive dining room and began a 24-hour case competition from which most participants have not yet recovered. The evening and early morning hours featured frantic break even analyses, semi-delusional cartwheels down the hall, and debates about the appeal (or lack thereof) of the term “soup sack” in a marketing campaign…
In all seriousness, the 2015 GMN Case Competition was an invaluable learning experience and one of the highlights of my first year. “Brannigan Foods: Strategic Marketing Planning” was a rich HSB case study that required financial analysis and strategic planning in addition to a detailed marketing plan that addressed both the short and long term health of the brand. It also required swift action and strong teamwork in order to submit the first-round PowerPoint presentations by 8am the next morning. Four out of the ten teams advanced to the last round and the remaining six teams were encouraged to stay and cheer their classmates on for the final presentations. A special congratulation goes out to Whitney Peiser, the first year Brand student on the winning team!
In addition to challenging first year students to apply concepts learned through coursework and Applied Learnings from the fall semester, the GMN case competition is also an incredible opportunity for students to network with leaders from top companies. This year representatives from 3M, Kraft, S.C. Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, WhiteWave Foods, Intuit, Target and Hollister served as case competition judges. Team members received direct feedback and insights from the judges after the presentations, and there was also time to visit with the judges during lunch and at a reception following the competition. This was a great way for Brand students to get some final face time with companies before internship interviews began the following week.
Overall, the GMN case competition was a very rewarding experience where I learned a lot through applying coursework, receiving feedback from the judges, and listening to the presentations from the final four teams. I will definitely encourage the next crop of first year Brand students to participate in this premier event!
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