LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business will host MBA students from nine conference universities for the eighth-annual Big 12 Case Competition this weekend at the Kansas Union.
The annual competition challenges MBA students with a real-world business problem from a local company. The students then have 24 hours to research, analyze and present a solution for a panel of judges. The teams will be given their challenge Friday morning and will present their solutions Saturday morning, with a final round in the afternoon.
The competition aims to test MBA students on the core competencies of management, including teamwork, leadership, problem solving and presentation skills, said Catherine Shenoy, KU director of MBA programs. With the additional pressure of a time limit, case competitions are a particularly creative way for students to test their classroom knowledge.
“The competition lends more urgency and focus to the process of coming up with a solution,” she said. “It helps hone really important analytical and communication skills that are used every day in the business world.”
With each university sending its top MBA students, the event is also an important opportunity for students and their advisers to network with each other, as well as with competition judges and company executives.
“This is an opportunity for all of our peer schools to showcase their top MBA students,” said Dee Steinle, administrative director of masters programs. “You get to see the best of each program.”
Although students are competing against one another, the event focuses on building strong ties between fellow universities and MBA programs. While the students are competing, advisers will have the opportunity to tour campus, as well as network with their fellow advisers from Big 12 universities.
“Over the years, we found we all face similar challenges,” Shenoy said. “Even when we are competing for students, it’s still a very collegial competition. It’s a great way to strengthen our professional network.”
It’s been a number of years since KU has hosted the competition, and with so many recent advances and developments, KU and the MBA team are excited to take their turn.
“We’ve had so many changes in the last few years,” Shenoy said. “With the new ranking, the new curriculum and the advent of a new building, it’s a great way to highlight all the changes and let our peers know about all the great things happening at KU.”
Universities sending teams to the Big 12 Case Competition this year include Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Texas Tech and West Virginia universities and the University of Oklahoma.