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2021 NC State Grand Business Challenge

The Jenkins MBA is excited to host its Annual Grand Business Challenge!


The Jenkins MBA program collaborates with Merck & Co. to present the NC State Grand Business Challenge opportunity. The challenge introduces MBA students to real-world business obstacles and pressures while using the pharmaceutical industry as the foundation for their development.

The Competition

We want your MBA program to put its best 4-person team forward to represent your school!

Each team will receive a set of case challenges that they must solve. Students do not need to be experts in healthcare, IT, or the security sector to compete. A facilitator will release high-level challenge information in advance of the event, thereby allowing each team the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the material. 

A facilitator will also observe and judge the student teams to gain a new outlook on how the company should internally be thinking about challenges and innovation management.

Merck will release the first challenge (the Foundational Challenge) information one month in advance to allow each challenge team the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the material and build their first presentation.

On the first day of the event teams will be randomly divided into groups and present within their assigned group. Each presentation group will have a panel of judges consisting of senior executives from leading IT and healthcare firms. These judges will actively engage with student participants throughout the competition.

Building on the Foundational Challenge, teams will be given the second challenge (the Succession Challenge) following the presentations.

Based on overall performance in the Foundational and Succession Challenges, the top team from each presentation group will advance to the final challenge (the Grand Business Challenge). The remaining teams will compete in the Storyboard Challenge.

The top team from each group will compete in the Grand Business Challenge. The winning teams will receive cash prizes.  The first place team from the Grand Business Challenge will also receive a coveted trophy to showcase their success at their school.

The remaining teams will compete in the Storyboard Challenge for additional prize money.

Competition FAQ’s

We have compiled some frequently asked questions about the Grand Business Challenge. These questions cover items such as location, travel, and attire.

Registration Information

The 2021 NC State Grand Business Challenge is TBD. Additional details will be posted as available. 

Note: This competition is only open to full-time MBA students. Practicing physicians are not eligible to participate in the challenge or attend the event.