Schulich MBA students win national competition twice in a row

picture of a glass building

A team of Schulich School of Business MBA students has won the Rotman Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Case Competition, making this the second consecutive year a Schulich team has won this national competition.

Schulich MBA students are on a winning streak. The Rotman success follows on the November win by another Schulich MBA team in the inaugural Schulich International Case Competition in Sustainability held at York. In addition, a Schulich team also took first place for strategy in the MBA games in Edmonton earlier this month.

At the Rotman CSR Case Competition on Jan. 28, the winning Schulich team defeated entries from Queen’s, Rotman, Ryerson, Concordia and HEC Montreal, presenting the best analysis and solution to the dilemma faced by the makers of Clorox bleach to satisfy consumers’ demands for  brands with a stamp of corporate social responsibility. There was a cash prize of $1,500 for the team.

In a compelling final-round presentation, Schulich MBA students Sein Weir, Rafik Dawood, Bori Csillag and Ashlee Goodfellow recommended a strategic approach to integrating corporate social responsibility in a meaningful way throughout all company endeavours and policies.

“It was a rather complex case. A large portion of the company’s products were not environmentally friendly, yet [Clorox] wanted to become a sustainable company,” said Joe Fayt, a Schulich marketing professor who coached the teams along with members of Schulich’s case team alumni. “Simply buying green products does not make you green. Consumers can perceive that as ‘greenwashing’. The Schulich team proposed a solution that offered an integrated approach to sustainability.”

The win energizes the Schulich students as they work towards their goal of winning the coveted Hult Global Case Challenge, sponsored by the Clinton Foundation, which culminates in a final March showdown in New York. In late February, Schulich is sending five MBA teams to compete in four cities – Boston, San Francisco, London and Shanghai – offering simultaneous first-phase heats of the Hult competition.

Students from about 100 colleges and universities, including Stanford, Harvard and INSEAD, have already begun the five-week preparation period for The Hult Global Case Challenge, where competitors are charged with addressing critical issues of world poverty as it impacts on social challenges in energy, education and housing. Top business leaders, including former United States president Bill Clinton, will act as mentors and judges throughout the multi-tiered competition. The Boston-based Hult International Business School will donate $1 million to the winning team to implement their poverty-busting idea.

“Given our school’s strong performances in national and international case competitions so far this year, our team should be very competitive,” said MBA ’12 student Kendal Bradley, whose team will compete in Shanghai. “`We’ve been training hard for over a year and we intend on presenting one more cutting-edge business proposal in competition before we graduate in April.”