Schulich MBA and graduate teams are on a case competition roll

MBA and graduate students from York University’s Schulich School of Business have been “batting a thousand” in case competitions this year, winning the top spot placement in four case competitions in as many months.

For the first time, a Schulich team made it into the top 10 finalists for the Harvard Global Case Competition, competing in Boston earlier this month.

“2018 has just been an extraordinary year for Schulich’s case competition teams,” said Joe Fayt, the school’s case competition coach, who accompanied Schulich’s MBA team to the top 10 finals at Harvard on April 13 to 15

The Schulich team consists of graduate students Catherine Sim, Abhilash Shashidharan, Swapnil Sarode, Karen Punn and Grishma Saheba.

“This is the first time a team from a Canadian business school has made it to the top 10 finals at the Harvard Global Case Competition,” said Fayt. “I am so proud of our student competitors who have worked extremely hard, on top of their coursework, to earn their tremendous successes.”

As a top 10 finalist, the Schulich team presented its case solution to a select panel of distinguished professors and industry professionals. The Global Case Competition at Harvard is considered the world’s most prestigious student-organized finance case competition, bringing together students with finance and business backgrounds from around the world.

Last year’s competition featured 127 teams from 68 universities vying for the $10,000 prize.

Also in April, another Schulich MBA team, made up of Madison Hopper, Christina Renaud Milhomem and Rami Ighnatios, competed in the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training competition (MIINT) at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

MBA Games

In January, Team Schulich beat out teams from 16 other Canadian graduate business schools to win the 2018 MBA Games, bringing home the Queen’s Cup and the right to host the 2019 MBA Games next January. (Since 2003, Schulich has placed first, second or third 15 times. The school also hosted the 2004, 2011, 2014 and 2016 MBA Games.) There were more than 600 MBA student competitors competing at the 2018 MBA Games, held at the Telfer School of Management in Ottawa.

In March, Schulich MBA students Phillip Gingras and Marta Michalek won the $30,000 grand prize in Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, a case competition between 142 teams from business programs across Canada, sponsored by DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. A panel of 20 executives heard the 10 finalist teams recommend how Canadian Tire could most effectively launch its new loyalty program and engage millennials with the brand.

As case competition coach and as a member of Schulich’s marketing faculty, Fayt found Gingras and Michalek’s win particularly gratifying.

“They are both in my MBA Service Marketing class, and I had the opportunity to coach them as they worked on their pitch,” he said. “Their presentation was insightful, engaging and entertaining.”

In February, a Schulich team made up of Joe Flagler, Catherine Sim, Jonathan Linton and Grishma Saheba placed first overall in the Desautels Graduate Management Challenge at McGill University, beating eight teams from across Canada.

Winning HEC CSR team 2018

Also in February, a Schulich MBA team placed first overall in the HEC CSR Case Competition at HEC Montreal, beating 22 teams from business schools across Canada, the U.S., England and Spain. Another Schulich team, made up of JinYiin Chen, Angel Huang and Zainab Jangda, won the CSR Award in the 2018 L’Oréal Brandstorm Innovation Competition.

Meanwhile, a team of students enrolled in Schulich’s Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure (MREI) program made it to the top 20 in the CanInfra Challenge Ideas Contest. Teammates Abishek Bhasin and Benjamin Fogel are competing for a $50,000 first-place prize with their innovative proposal titled “Sustainable Mobility Model for Canada.”

The students first came up with their proposal for the use of autonomous electric buses during the WSP-Schulich Innovation Challenge, a classroom competition that was part of their course Case Studies in Infrastructure.