Sawtooth Competition Sweep

PROVO, Utah – Apr 13, 2018 – The BYU Marriott School of Business claimed victory in the Buckeye State at this year’s Sawtooth Software Case Competition, where the school’s MBA team not only claimed first, but a BYU Marriott undergraduate team also took second overall. The competition was open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

First-place winners Candace Child from North Ogden, Utah; Steve Martin from New York City; Doug Ward from Centerville, Utah; Avisikta Sahoo from Bhubaneswar, India; and Sam Swain from Orem, Utah, were awarded a cash prize of $3,000. Marketing majors Megan Hopkins, a senior from Holladay, Utah; Mitchell Kimball, a senior from Laguna Beach, California; Mary Rose McQueen, a junior from Mapleton, Utah; and Sabrina Weiler, a senior from Newport Beach, California, took second place.

“It is great to win the competition, but the best thing is that it provides an excellent opportunity for students to apply things we learn in the classroom in a concrete setting,” says Jeff Dotson, associate professor of marketing. “It is consistent with Dean Lee Perry’s ‘Learn, Do, Become’ initiative where the results we produce are going to have an influence in the way the product is configured and then released into markets.”

The two-day event gave students the opportunity to present and deal with real-world problems and solutions surrounding conjoint analysis, a market research technique that helps business owners make decisions on product rollout by determining consumer preferences.

“Competing in the Sawtooth competition taught me about humility and confidence, a necessary dichotomy,” Martin says. “I had to rely on my teammates’ strengths to make up for my weaknesses, especially in the complex world of analytics. We won because we were unified in purpose and diversified in ability.”

Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 healthcare services company, co-sponsored the competition, and market research experts from Sawtooth Software, Cardinal Health, and Proctor & Gamble made up the panel of judges.

“This competition has been one of the most valuable experience I have had during my time at BYU thus far,” Weiler says. “Receiving second place taught our team that hard work pays off. My favorite part of the competition was definitely the relationships I gained. I would have never expected that some of my greatest friendships would result from staring at spreadsheets at 3 a.m., but I guess analytics has a way of bringing people together.”

The BYU Marriott School of Business prepares men and women of faith, character, and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. BYU Marriott has four graduate and ten undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,300 students.

Sawtooth Winners
(Back left to right): BYU Marriott MBA and undergraduate students Sam Swain, Steve Martin, Mitchell Kimball, Candace Child, Doug Ward, (Front left to right) Avisikta Sahoo, Mary Rose McQueen, Sabrina Weiler, and Megan Hopkins swept the Sawtooth Case competition, taking first and second place overall.
MBA first place winners Sawtooth
(From left to right): BYU Marriott MBA students Sam Swain, Avisikta Sahoo, Steve Martin, Candace Child, and Doug Ward were award first place in the Sawtooth Case competition.
Sawtooth second place winners
(From left to right): BYU marketing students Mary Rose McQueen, Mitchell Kimball, Sabrina Weiler, and Megan Hopkins took second place overall.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Kelly Brunken