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Baylor University MBA Students Place 3rd in GWU Case Competition

April 7, 2010

By Becca Broaddus

A team of Baylor University MBA students received third place in the 17th Annual George Washington University International Case Competition March 19-20 in Washington, D.C.

Baylor team members include Tiffanie Harrison-Benson, second year MBA candidate from Round Rock; Violet Fuller, JD/MBA candidate from Waco; Neelima Gonuguntla, JD/MBA candidate from Sugar Land; and John Vrbanac, first year MBA candidate from Simi Valley, Calif. Professor of Accounting Charles Stanley served as the Baylor team sponsor.

"We were confident that we had a good presentation going into the competition," Gonuguntla said. "However, we also knew that we were competing against some of the best business schools in the country."

Baylor was one of 20 national and international teams that competed in the not-for-profit competition. This year's case focused on analyzing and making strategic recommendations to the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL).

GWUL's mission is "to increase the economic and political empowerment of blacks and other minorities and to help all Americans share equally in the responsibilities and rewards of full citizenship."

"We spent four weeks preparing for the competition, researching the GWUL and pulling together our talents and ideas to create a well-functioning team," Fuller said. "However, something really clicked at the competition, and we really felt comfortable and genuine in our recommendations."

CEO and President of GWUL Maudine Cooper was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony and banquet following the competition.

"It was incredibly rewarding to know that we had worked long and hard to provide viable solutions to the GWUL that not only answered the business aspects of the charge but that also spoke to the heart of the organization, and its care and concern for the people it serves," Benson said.

The competition, which is held each spring, brings together MBA student teams to analyze a current situation facing a nonprofit organization and to present solutions that draw on the assets of the organization.

The twenty teams presented twice, each time to a different set of judges. Teams were judged on the quality of analysis, recommendations, presentation style, and implementation plan.

"Case analysis is a cornerstone of the MBA curriculum at Baylor, and putting it into practical use while competing against other top universities really shows what a great program we have here at Baylor," Vrbanac said.

The team was awarded $1,000 for the third place finish.

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