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Baylor Team Places Second in Negotiation Competition

April 25, 2018

By Kelsey Kaigler

The Baylor Business Negotiation Competition was held April 5-6 at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation in Waco, Texas. Baylor students Zach Fires and Blake Carrington, along with coach Matthew Wright, placed second in the competition. The team was awarded a $500 prize.

The competition focuses on building negotiating skills among future business leaders. It is the only negotiation competition in the U.S. specifically for undergraduate business majors. Student teams compete in realistic business negotiation role-plays against other student teams and receive feedback from business professional judges.

“What makes this competition realistic is always the unknown," said Wright of the role-plays.

The competition format is three rounds of role-plays. Each team consists of two students from the same university, and students compete against teams from various universities across the U.S.

“They were all just as determined to win as we were,” Carrington said. “We were up against the best of the best, and their negotiation skills proved that.”

The competition’s realistic business setting combines elements of negotiation and conflict resolution. Each team is randomly assigned to compete against another student team in each round with live judging. The best teams across the first two rounds, as determined by the panel of judges, advance to the final round. Each round includes approximately 35 minutes of role-play and 15 minutes of oral feedback from the judges.

“The hardest part of the competition was the time,” Fires said. “There was a lot of pressure to make sure we listened well, but also fought for what we wanted. Finding that balance was tough, but once we learned how to navigate that water, it really helped.”

Other participating universities in this year’s competition were Babson College, McGill University, Nichols College, Northern Arizona University, SolBridge International School of Business, Southern Methodist University, St. Mary's University, Texas Christian University, University of Arizona, University of Central Oklahoma and West Virginia University.

The 2019 competition is scheduled for April 11-12.

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