In October, four Wisconsin School of Business MBA candidates were named champions of the Archer Case Competition. Ambika Kumar (Strategic Human Resources), Anuj Modi (Brand and Product Management), Mike Turco (Operations and Technology Management), and captain Mark Nicola (Corporate Finance and Investment Banking) bested a deep field of other teams to take top honors. Mike shared how the team prepared and their approach to the competition:
“We’d receive a prompt at the beginning of each round and have two to three weeks to work, and then we’d take a research week because the nature of the industries we were [presenting on] were pretty [unfamiliar] to us — like the children’s science enrichment summer camp industry. The types of problems that came up were not ones we had been exposed to before. So our approach we used through the three rounds was to take a research week- sometimes two- to brainstorm and create our story and content.”
As Mike and Anuj are members of the Weinert Fellowship in Enterprise Development program, they remarked how they found applications of some of the materials in Dr. Phil Greenwood’s MHR 722 Entrepreneurial Management course:
“I think there was a huge risk component. You’re really opening yourself up to risks from the environment that you can’t really control which is not a fun thing to think about as an entrepreneur, but having some kind of crisis plan is beneficial” remarked Mike.
He added, “We’ve been talking a lot about “the Founder’s Dilemma” in some of our classes, where the CEO of a company in the exploratory phase doesn’t make it past the first five years because different skill sets are needed when you’re growing versus when you’re a sustainable business [and we saw that in the cases].”
Anuj added, “Being in the Wisconsin Fellowship program, you’re encouraged to think about all aspects of the business and [any] possible risks that can threaten the survival of your business, and in the case we were given we really had to show more versatility and think about issues like legal lawsuits. And I think the Fellowship really encourages us to think [in a sense that empowers us to solve these problems].”
Mike and Anuj did share that while it’s been difficult managing their newfound fame, avoiding throngs of adoring fans is much easier these days.