More “Early Leaders Case Competition” Excitement!

By: Steve MacLean

The Simon School is currently accepting applications for the 2010 Early Leaders Case Competition, which will take place on November 12th and 13th.  This two-day event is open to undergraduate students who are interested in applying their problem-solving skills to provide a solution to a business case study.  Participants will be assigned to teams and will have less than 24 hours to prepare a presentation with their recommendations to a panel of judges.  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-placing teams.

Even more enticing than the opportunity to win a cash prize is the experience that participants will gain from this event.  I had the pleasure of participating in the 2008 competition, during my Junior year.  This was the first time that I participated in a case competition and the event turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences that I had during my undergraduate years.

Being assigned to a diverse team, working under rigid time constraints, and presenting in front of a panel of business leaders and professors are the main reasons that this experience was so valuable.  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.  The competition gives students the opportunity to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply the knowledge in a real world situation.

My team proved to have worked well together, as we were one of the top-placing teams.  There were several key takeaways in addition to the prize money that I received. The event enabled me to: reflect on my style of working with others amid tight deadlines, preview the diverse teams that I may encounter in graduate school or a future job, and gain relevant stories to share during future interviews for internships and graduate school.

Speaking of graduate school, the event gave me the opportunity to meet several Simon School students and to learn about the MBA Program.  Based on my experience at the Early Leaders Case Competition and what I learned about the school’s MBA Program, I determined that Simon would be an excellent fit for my graduate studies.  I joined the Full-Time MBA Program in January 2010 and am truly enjoying my time and studies at Simon. I am currently helping in the Admission’s office to ensure this upcoming ELCC event is as excellent as past ones.

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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