Raj Soin College of Business students have chalked up another first and second place at the National Society for Advancement of Management Case Competition. By placing first, second or third in the nation for ten consecutive years, Wright State students have won a total of eighteen awards, more than any other university in the nation.
Competing against twenty-six teams from around the nation, Wright State’s graduate team placed first and the undergraduate team placed second. The 2012 conference also marked the 100th anniversary of the Society for the Advancement of Management (SAM) which focused on the theme of “Excellence”
National first place winners are MBA students Khadidja Adoum Kokoi Toke, Economics; Michael L. Durant, Finance; and Brittany E. Harper, Health Care Administration. Second place winners are undergraduate students Lawrence W. Hawkins, Management Human Resources and Michelle Weikert, Accountancy. Both teams were advised by Lisa Crawford, Management Lecturer, who has mentored Wright State’s winning teams for the past ten years.
“Our students compete in many competitions and at professional organizations throughout the nation. The focus of our faculty on delivering a quality curriculum and developing quality graduates consistently results in outstanding, record-breaking wins like this year’s SAM victory,” said Berkwood Farmer, Dean of the Raj Soin College of Business.
Students were challenged with a case analyzing Tesla Motor, Inc. a pioneer in the development of electric, high-performance cars. This year’s winning graduate team credited their first place win to their strategic recommendations including a smart-phone application to overcome consumer concerns about maintenance and a joint venture with Evatran, a company which provides wireless charging stations.
“I definitely learned how to make strategic recommendations without having all of the data one really needs to set the future of the direction of a company,” said Michael Durant, MBA student.
Katie Kokie, fellow graduate team member, said “I came away from the competition with a whole new sense of confidence and appreciation for the real results that teamwork can produce. The competition definitely has made me even more prepared for my professional career.”
Brittany Harper, graduate team member was also amazed and appreciative of her fellow teammates’ dedication. “Everyone devoted our entire spring break to apply what we are learning in the classroom. I really valued the diversity of backgrounds and insights each team member brought to the challenges of the case. Winning first place validated all of our collective efforts.
“Having to hone my presentation and spontaneous, analytical skills during the intense question and answer session in front of a panel of business leaders was definitely another huge benefit of the competition,” according to undergraduate, Michelle Wikert. Bill Hawkins, fellow team member, was most challenged by having “to identify that one strategic recommendation that would differentiate our team’s analysis from all of the other top notch teams in the competition.”
Home towns and undergraduate universities of the team members include: Khadidja Adoum Kokoi Toke of Miamisburg, undergraduate degree in accountancy from Wright State University; Michael L. Durant, Columbus, Ohio undergraduate degree in Economics from The Ohio State University and Brittany E. Harper, Winchester, Ohio undergraduate degree in biology from Wright State University. Wright State undergraduate team members Lawrence W. Hawkins, Fairborn, Ohio and Michelle Susan Weikert, West Milton, Ohio.