Winners of First Walmart Business Case Competition Announced

The details made the difference as judges chose the winning team of the inaugural Walmart Business Case Competition held at Brigham Young University on Sept. 29.

Thirteen teams of two to four undergrad students were given ten days to draft marketing strategies for new Walmart Express stores. After an initial round of presentations, judges narrowed the competition to four finalist teams that were judged by Walmart senior executives.

"All four finalist teams presented with energy and passion; in the end they were separated by the thinnest of margins," says Sam Dunn, senior vice president of finance at Walmart Gobal Sourcing. "The winners were selected not because they were the most polished or entertaining, but because they paid attention to small details and gave solid answers to difficult questions."

Dunn and a panel of five other Walmart executives chose the winning team, which consisted of Amie Isom, a marketing senior from Bountiful, Utah; Chris Huntington, a supply chain senior from Littleton, Colo.; Steven Hall, a supply chain junior from West Jordan, Utah; and Ryan White, a marketing senior from Salt Lake City.

Ashley Hurd, a merchandise planner for Walmart, organized the competition and says its purpose is to supplement recruiting at BYU. In addition to giving students a chance to solve a real-life issue, Walmart recruiters use the competition to see the talents of students who created and presented marketing strategies.

Hall says he and his team addressed the sustainability of the new Walmart Express stores by coming up with a new slogan, new store layouts, and a special discount section. He says the competition taught him a great deal about business within a large corporation and piqued his interest in completing an internship with the company.

"This case competition was a great experience," he says. "I got to learn about the culture and business model of Walmart, and it's definitely influenced my plans for the future."

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, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. 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: Angela Marler