All-Nighter Leads to Victory

BYU Students Take First in International Business Competition

PROVO, Utah – Nov 24, 2015 – Months and hours of practice and preparation came down to two 25-minute presentations for a group of Marriott School of Management students at the International Business Case Competition. Thanks to some last-minute adjustments, all the work resulted in a first-place win at the competition, held on the campus of Northeastern University.

Sponsored by the Consortium of Undergraduate International Business Education, the four-member team from Brigham Young University traveled to Boston to compete against schools from across the country, including the University of San Diego and Villanova University.

“Winning the CUIBE case competition is significant because it distinguishes us from other schools that also teach international business,” says Bruce Money, director of BYU’s Whitmore Global Management Center. “We’re running with a fast crowd and to win garners respect for BYU’s international program.”

Each group was expected to present a sound business plan on an international topic. This year, teams were given just over 30 hours to construct a reasonable model for Amazon’s international expansion. However, 18 hours into the competition, the BYU students recognized a flaw in their plan. They pulled an all-nighter readjusting and tightening their case in order to be ready by the 6 a.m. deadline.

“Each one of us had a job trying to poke holes in one another’s arguments,” explains team member Zack Hansen, a finance senior from Cary, N.C. “This helped us get ready for the judges with the most concrete, robust argument possible. No matter how good your content is you have to be able to persuade people with your confidence and how you present.”

The BYU students were able to do just that, impressing the judges with their delivery to earn the win. Hansen’s teammates included Jenica Sedgwick, a strategy senior from Stratford, Conn.; Adam Richardson, a finance senior from Camas, Wash.; and Alexis Cooper, a finance senior from Queen Creek, Ariz.

Much of their confidence came from months of preparing and practicing, as well as support from BYU faculty and the Whitmore Center.

“Our mentors put so much hard work into teaching us about presentation, engaging the judges and standing out,” Sedgwick said. “We were glad we implemented all their help for a successful win that represented them and BYU well.”

Marriott School of Management undergraduate students Zach Hansen, Adam Richardson, Alexis Cooper, and Jenica Sedgwick won the CUIBE International Business Case Competition

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Brooke Porter