All teams will analyze the same case during the competition. Teams of four students will apply their analytical, decision-making and communication skills to present strategic solutions and recommendations to a panel of judges from the business community. The case will focus on international human resource practices. Each team will be judged based on the content of its presentation, the feasibility of implementing the suggestions, as well as its ability to present arguments and recommendations to the judges.
Please read each of the categories below.
This is a draft of rules as of April 2016 and as such is subject to change if deemed necessary.
Each team will have a Carlson School student host. The host will meet the team upon arrival and help members get settled. The host will be available as much as possible during the competition to assist with technology, answer questions and help with any scheduling changes that may arise. Team hosts will get in touch with each participating institution in October 2016.
Judges will provide written feedback to each team after all teams have presented. After the competition, we will provide each team with a copy of all presentations for comparison and learning purposes. Only official video and audio recording of the presentations will be permitted. Photos may not be taken during the presentations.
Business casual attire will be appropriate for the opening reception and for the day of case preparation. Formal business attire will be appropriate for the competition day.
Each team must bring at least one laptop computer (with the Microsoft Office suite of products) to prepare the case analysis. Teams will present PowerPoint presentations using built-in computers and projectors in each presentation room. Each room is equipped with a wireless handheld slide advancer/laser pointer, but teams should be prepared to advance slides by hand at the podium computer in case of equipment malfunction. Each team's presentation file will be loaded in their presentation room by the competition technology manager; however, teams should be prepared to present from print copies of their PowerPoint presentations in case of technical difficulties.
All teams will have access to printing and copying at the Carlson School. The printing facilities are located in the same building that the students will be preparing their presentations.
Each team will be assigned a small break-out room in the Carlson School for their exclusive use to prepare the case. There will be classrooms reserved for each team to practice giving actual presentations. Teams must bring their own laptops to the competition to work on and prepare the presentations. Team members will make their competition presentations using PowerPoint. The presentations will be shown on school-owned, Windows-based desktops. A computer, LCD projector and screen are built into each classroom. Students are welcome to bring their own USB-based clickers, but have to be ready to utilize the keyboard to move between slides in the event of technical difficulties.
Only judges, team advisors, members of the competition planning committee, Carlson School student hosts and assistants, and official videographers may observe the final rounds. Carlson School of Management student hosts may view the presentations of other teams, but are not allowed to consult with the teams to which they are assigned. Team members will not be allowed to view the presentations of competing teams. All of the presentations will be videotaped and will be available to all other teams after the competition has ended. If the teams would like those recordings, they should contact the organizers of the competition at email@example.com.
Judges will be comprised of company experts and Carlson School Faculty Members. Judging will be "blind", meaning that judges will not be told and should not be led by the team, verbally or through colors or graphics, to know which school the team represents. Teams will present using their chosen fictitious team name. Individuals are free to use their real personal names in the presentation. The decisions of the judges will be final.
The advisors are there to provide moral support and encouragement to the team. Once the team receives the written case, coaching by faculty members, school staff, or contact with outside experts is expressly prohibited. This does not mean contact with advisors is prohibited; we will trust the advisors not to discuss the case with their team. In the event that official advising becomes available for a limited period of time, all teams will be informed.
Team members may use and bring with them any reference sources/materials in the public domain (i.e., books, the business library, the Internet, etc.) in conducting their research. Teams may not use password protected electronic reference materials to which they may have access due to particular school affiliation or have subscription access to (for instance, utilizing Harvard Business Review as a source of information would not be considered acceptable if it required an account log in). Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in immediate disqualification.
On Friday, November 9, at 21:00, all teams will gather and will draw at random for presentation slots.
Members of each team will have 20 minutes to present their analysis before the panel of judges. Questions from the judges may come at any time during the 20 minutes of presentation. Presentations should consist of a PowerPoint presentation only (no props allowed). No audio will be allowed in the PowerPoint presentations. Five minutes of setup before the presentation is scheduled into each time slot. If a team is unable to setup their PowerPoint presentation within the five minutes, team must use slide copies that they will be responsible for preparing. It is expected that all members will be active participants in the presentation. Teams and judges will be alerted to the time they have remaining for the presentation as well as the question and answer session at the five and one minute marks. Five minutes of take down will also be allocated at the end of the time slot. The top three teams will qualify for prizes.
The preliminary round will occur between September 16-23, 2018. The teams will be given access to the written case via email. The case will become active at the time they request it. The teams will have 24 hours (from when the case becomes available) to prepare a written recommendation based on the guidelines given in the Case. The written recommendations must be submitted by one team member to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final round competition in November at the Carlson School begins when teams receive their cases on Friday morning, 08:00 on November 9. Similarly, teams will have 24 hours to work on the presentation (16 hours to prepare the final presentation). One team member must submit the final presentation by Friday 23:59 via email to email@example.com. No alterations to the presentation will be allowed after that time. If the team fails to deliver the presentation by that deadline, they will automatically be disqualified. The teams are welcome to start researching the main sponsor before arriving in Minnesota. Each team will receive a copy of the case in paper and electronic form. The teams are also welcome to continue working on the case past midnight on Friday, but cannot make alterations to the presentation.
Each team will be comprised of four currently enrolled graduate students working on a master's in human resources or similar degree (MBA in human resources, labor relations studies, human resources management, etc.). Students enrolled in a joint HR and MBA program are eligible as long as they are currently enrolled in the HR program. The number of such students on the team should be kept at a minimum. Each member of the team must be a registered student at the school he or she represents. Each team must have at least one first year student and one second year student. For 1 year Programs, this restriction does not apply. For 3 year programs, there must be a mix of students between different years.