School of Business Administration

Business Scholars case competition puts strategy and leadership skills to use

icon of a calendarOctober 23, 2018

icon of a pencilBy Starr Brown

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Business Scholars case competition puts strategy and leadership skills to use

group photo of business scholar students in a classroom with a sign that says "Thank You Oakland University"
2018-19 Business Scholar students after their first case competition in September.

This year’s Business Scholars participated in its first of three case competitions of the academic year. Sponsored by the OU Credit Union, the School of Business Scholars Program provides a select group of students a unique opportunity to enhance problem solving, decision making and leadership skills.

For the competition, the Scholars were challenged to create a case for complimentary service offerings in the evolving the business strategy of Banff Aspen Lodge. Teams considered whether to start a cafe, a restaurant or expand the lounge for this mid-sized hotel in Banff as well as evaluate how to take advantage of the fast-growth Chinese tourism market.

The Business Scholars worked in small teams, each charged with developing a business plan and presentation to share with judges Joy Jiang, associate professor, management and international business; and Tarissa O’Malley, assistant vice president of branches, OU Credit Union.

Following presentations and deliberations, the judges selected the “Business As Usual” as the winning team. Team members included Cassie Harms (ACC), Luis Carlos Hernandez-Colin (FIN), Damian Ladson (ACC), Marcella Lessnau (Pre Business), Brianna Tombaugh (HRM) and Krystena Yancey (FIN).

The judges said “Business As Usual” stood out with its clear analysis of the external and internal environment. The proposed recommendations tied back to the analysis of the lodge and was compatible with the vision and strategy of the hotel.

“It was interesting to see how each group thought through the details of the case to make their recommendation for the direction of the business outlined in the case,” said O’Malley. “They displayed creativity and demonstrated reasoning for their recommendations.”

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