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Jenkins MBA Team Places Third in NC State Grand Business Challenge

This past weekend, the Jenkins MBA Program collaborated with Merck & Co., a multinational pharmaceutical company, to present the 2020 NC State Grand Business Challenge. This event introduces MBA students from universities across the country to real-world business challenges using the pharmaceutical industry as the foundation for their development. 

The challenge consists of four-person teams receiving a set of cases that they must solve in the healthcare sector. A panel of industry expert judges representing Merck, EY Consulting, Cisco, Exostar, Splunk, Duo Security and Securonix will evaluate contestants’ creativity, methods, impact, Q&A and overall delivery. 

“The Grand Business Challenge teaches you how to balance working in a fast-paced environment while providing solutions for real-life business problems, said Brian Dunn, a member of the NC State Jenkins MBA team. “In essence, we learned the fundamentals of teamwork and collaboration while addressing problems in an industry we had little to no experience in. In our professional careers, we will be placed in uncomfortable situations tasked with solving a problem within an arena we may have a limited understanding of.”

The NC State Jenkins MBA Program was represented by Dunn, Eric Plant, Robert Burnham and Morgan Shearon. The team placed third in the storyboard challenge among teams from Texas Christian University, John Hopkins Carey Business School, Clemson University, Prague College and Rider University. 

Plant believed that the team put their best foot forward competing together for the first time by providing Merck with an actionable solution they could take back with them. 

“Don’t be afraid of competing and be willing to push yourself,” said Plant when giving advice to future Jenkins MBA student competitors. “Case competitions are something that every MBA student should do at least once. The experience is well worth the late nights of preparation and will bring you closer as a team.”

Competition Results

Grand Business Challenge

1- Rutger Business School

2- Florida State University

2- Singapore Management University

Storyboard Presentations

1- John Hopkins Carey Business School

2- Texas Christian University

3- North Carolina State University

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.