School of Business Administration

Business Scholars tackle post-pandemic strategy in latest case competition

icon of a calendarMarch 8, 2022

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Business Scholars tackle post-pandemic strategy in latest case competition
Mariella Simoncini, Porfirio Garcia and Jesse Bischer posing for a photo at the Business Scholars case competition.
Case champs (left to right) Mariella Simoncini, Porfirio Garcia and Jesse Bischer claimed victory in the latest Business Scholars case competition.

In its latest case competition, Business Scholars tackled the challenge facing most organizations today: resetting strategy for a post-pandemic world.

In this competition, the Scholars were charged with helping a Canadian business school determine the best way forward one year following a world-wide pandemic. Digging into the case, Scholars teams analyzed options, formulated recommendations, and created and presented plans to help the school decide between pursuing a classic business school model or shift to an adaptive hybrid model.

Presenting the most compelling and sound set of recommendations led to the victory of Team Apples, comprised of Jesse Bischer, accounting and finance major, Porfirio Garcia, operations management major, and Mariella Simoncini, finance major.

The faculty judges included Janell Townsend, Ph.D.., professor, marketing, and chair, Marketing and Management Department, and Michelle Hammond, Ph.D., professor of management.

“Competing among our teams in business cases is an exciting way to develop our professional skills in presenting, problem-solving, and business strategy under pressure,” said Simoncini. “It's one of my favorite parts of going to school at Oakland University. No matter if we win or lose, we learn so much and have a great time.”

In case competitions, Business Scholars put their business education to the test, working collaboratively to analyze and present solutions to current business issues to a panel of judges, in a few hours.

“Case competitions strengthened my teamwork and problem-solving skills,” said Garcia. “Working with Scholars outside of my major also requires me to improve my communication skills to effectively convey topics pertaining to supply chain.”

“The case competitions provided me with a newfound comfort in public speaking, in addition to building upon my critical thinking skills,” said Bischer. “The limited amount of time for the competition challenges students to really think on their feet and develop a charisma for speaking in front of audiences.”

Through the Scholars program, Oakland business students take their business education to the next level, strengthening competencies through immersion in case studies, leadership development, community involvement and mentorship.

The mentorship component includes pairing Scholars with a mentor for networking and coaching, as well as inviting Scholar alumni to attend the case competitions as mentors for current students.

“The mentorship allows Scholars to network with real-world professionals and gain their insights on career paths that may suit them,” said Bischer. “All my mentors have been kind enough to meet once a month to discuss my studies, career aspirations, and personal life.”

For the latest competition, four alumni returned as team champions: Maria Barrios, POM ‘20, Luis Hernandez, MGT ’20, Alvin Pitris, MKT ’16, and Ruben Toribio, FIN/ECN ‘19.

“I really enjoyed being part of Scholars as a student due to the opportunities it provided, such as networking, working with professionals, presentation skills, and in my case traveling to Washington D.C. for two international competitions,” said Hernandez. “Having the opportunity to come back means I can pass some knowledge from my professional and Scholars experiences to the new group.”

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