Last fall, the MA-HRIR program hosted the 3rd Annual International HR Case Competition (CIHRCom) at the Carlson School of Management. The Lead Sponsor and Live Case provider for the competition was LG Electronics. Seven four-person teams of graduate students competed to come up with the best global HR-related solution for the case. The teams that participated last year came from Rutgers University, University of South Carolina, Carlson School of Management, Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia, Sun Yat-Sen University in China, Yonsei University in Korea, and Welingkar Institute of Management in India. Between the teams, sponsors, judges, advisors, and volunteers, 18 different countries were represented, keeping true to the international nature of the competition.

The teams had time to introduce themselves and mingle with other teams Thursday night at the Welcome Dinner, but Friday it was straight to work as the teams received the Case at 8:00 a.m. Each team had until midnight that night to research, develop and fine tune the solution they were going to present in front of the sponsors and a panel of judges the next day. The presentations on Saturday were followed by a dinner and awards ceremony where the winners were announced: Rutgers University took third place, the University of South Carolina took second, and the team from the Carlson School took first place.

A post-competition survey found that the participants and their advisors were satisfied with the educational value of the Case Competition. One advisor noted, “The compression of time and output provided a real-world simulation [for students]. The topic provided challenge, and reinforced the idea that diversity management is an important business imperative.”  

The judges had positive feedback, as well, as one noted, “I was impressed with how well the students solved the problem and worked together as a team.  They all did nice work and were strong public presenters." Another judge commented, “I really enjoyed seeing the students’ ideas and strong ability to present, and to meet teams from different countries. What a great experience for the students!”

Although the weekend was packed, teams were still able to find time to explore Minneapolis and visit the Mall of America. When asked about their favorite part of the experience, one participant said, “Work-life balance. We came for the competition, but we also had free time to see the city and really had fun together with our super nice team hosts!” Another team member said, “Juicy Lucy Burger aside, I enjoyed meeting students from around the world and hearing their approaches and experiences.”

Regardless of whether their team took home a trophy, each team returned home with new friends and new experiences. To see a photo gallery of the event, click here.

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