Undergrad Experiences Jumpstarting Future Careers

Recent Walmart case competition one example of opportunities available to Marriott School students

PROVO, Utah – Mar 19, 2015 – Presentations in front of top executives. High-profile internships. All-expense paid trips. Through a recent collaboration with Walmart, a group of Marriott School of Management undergraduates showed that graduate students aren’t the only ones finding success landing coveted spots with well-respected companies.

After competing on campus in a recent case competition sponsored by Walmart, three students were offered internships with the retail giant while a handful of others used the experience to gain positions with other companies.

“Many students have had their entire careers potentially take a new trajectory because of the effort they put into participating in the case competition and representing their school,” says Scott Higley, a global supply chain senior from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and a realty intern for the company last summer.

Higley initially suggested the idea of the competition to Walmart executive Tom Wait. Wait liked the idea so much he wrote up the case himself before visiting campus to help stage the competition. Starting with approximately 150 students, three groups were chosen as finalists before the winner was chosen to receive an all-expense paid trip to Bentonville to present their conclusions to Walmart leadership.

“Having an open-ended case written and hosted by a vice president from Walmart is an opportunity very few students get,” says Tejan Konduru, a finance junior from Cupertino, Calif., and the leader of the winning team. “The vote of confidence in the students at BYU was overwhelming. We were blown away with the opportunity.” 

Joining Konduru on the winning team were Ethan Black, a business management junior from Palo Alto, Calif.; Logan Bryan, a strategy junior from Henderson, Nev.; Richard Flores, an economics junior and strategy minor from American Fork, Utah; Landen Hajje, an exercise science junior from Amarillo, Texas; and Daniel Stark, a finance sophomore from Auburn, Alabama.

The group spoke to an audience that included three Walmart Realty senior executives and about 30 additional company personnel regarding the team’s suggestions for opening new operations in the United States.

“Not many undergrads get the experience of presenting to executives at a top company such as Walmart,” Black says. “It was really neat to present and to have them treat what we said so seriously.”

Following the event, Konduru was offered and accepted an internship offer in the realty department starting this summer. He will be joined by two other BYU students — Danny Jones, a strategy junior from Omaha, Neb.; and Chase Hudson, a pre-accounting sophomore from Draper, Utah — who both received offers after participating in earlier stages of the competition. Additional students have used what they learned in the competition to garner spots with other institutions, such as Bain & Company, as well.

“Through this experience, the Marriott School and BYU have shown they are strong brands with sharp students who, whether undergrad or grad, can contribute to the biggest names in the corporate world,” Higley says.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Jordan Christiansen