Cash Prizes are only 1 Incentive…

By: Anjali Sud

The Simon Graduate School of Business is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Early Leader Case Competition, which is scheduled to take place on November 11th and 12th. This two-day event is open to any undergraduate student interested in demonstrating their creativity and problem-solving skills to provide solutions for a real-world business case study.  Participants will be assigned to teams and given 24 hours to prepare their recommendations to present to a panel of judges comprised of business leaders and world-class business faculty. The Simon School will provide meals, as well as accommodations for those traveling from outside of the Rochester area. In addition, there are cash prizes for the top three teams!

More valuable than a cash prize, however, is the experience that participants will gain from this annual event. Marc Williams and Leo Fridley are both Class of 2012 MBA Candidates who participated in the Early Leader Case Competition before joining the Simon Graduate School of Business.  Both were exposed to diverse teams of students, and under ridged time constraints produced powerful presentations. As Marc fondly recollects, “The ability to think creatively under serious time constraints with a group of people I never met before was a great experience… It’s easy to understand your strengths and weaknesses on paper, but when you get into a stressful environment like the case competition, your defining characteristics are brought to the forefront”. 

The assigned teams and tight deadline will challenge an individual’s ability to work effectively with a group of new acquaintances. Presenting in front of experienced professionals will test one’s public speaking skills and ability to defend his or her recommendations.  This competition gives students the opportunity to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply the knowledge in a real-world situation. The competition also provides participants with a preview of the diverse teams that one may encounter in graduate school.  Leo declares that “It was the Early Leader Case Competition that convinced me that other students applying to MBA programs were the exact people I had been searching for as an undergraduate”.

Based on their personal experiences with the Early Leader Case Competition and what they learned about Simon’s MBA Program both Marc and Leo recognized that the school would be an ideal place to pursue their graduate studies. As Marc summarizes, “The Early Leader Case Competition experience gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities and helped me realize that Simon could be a great fit for me, a place where I could continue to learn and grow with some of the best and the brightest”.

Please visit the Early Leaders Case Competition webpage for more information about the event and the application process. Feel free to contact me as well with further questions at

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