BU Students Place 2nd in Alpha Kappa Psi’s Case Competition
Boston University School of Management students Kate Blaes (BSBA’13), Michael Ely (BSBA’14), and Christine Yi (BSBA’15) won second place in the fifth annual Principled Business Leadership Institute’s Case Competition in Philadelphia last weekend, taking home a scholarship prize of $750.
Representing BU’s Nu Chapter of co-educational business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi (AKP), chapter president Blaes and members Ely and Yi completed a market analysis and forecasted financials on a Harvard Business School case. Teams from the University of Pennsylvania’s Epsilon Rho Chapter placed first and third in the competition.
The AKP Foundation sponsored the members-only competition, where teams from thirteen chapters participated. The competition is designed to prepare students for future managerial positions by introducing them to the challenges of decision making and giving them first-hand experience in analyzing business situations. The competition is part of the Principled Business Leader’s Institute, a weekend-long educational business conference for AKP affiliates.
Blaes, Ely, and Yi were given one month to solve the fictional case study and presented their findings in a 20-minute presentation to a panel of four judges, followed by a 15-minute Q&A. They also submitted a four-page business plan detailing their assessment and recommendations of the case, in which they had to decide whether or not an independent hotel in Zurich should become a franchisee of a branded hotel.
“We essentially dissected the case, went on to forecast the financials,” said Blaes, an accounting and finance concentrator, “and then did a very thorough market research of the hospitality industry and hotel valuation index. We wanted to incorporate the area in which the case was going to fall because we knew there would be a Q&A session and didn’t want to base our findings only on financials.”
Associate Professor Jeffrey Furman of the School of Management strategy department, and a chapter faculty brother, advised the group. “Professor Furman had the idea of explaining pros and cons of the situation rather than just giving our recommendations. This gave us the advantage of being objective about everything,” said Yi, a law concentrator.
“We applied a lot of the things we learned in SMG when preparing the case. SMG teaches you how to efficiently communicate with words, especially with PowerPoint and visuals. You learn how to speak about what matters,” added Ely.
The $750 scholarship prize will go towards the Nu Chapter’s own case competition, created by SMG faculty. The competition is slated to take place this spring and is open to all BU students. The winning team of the Nu Chapter Case Competition will claim a prize ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.