A team of Carlson MBA students took first place at the Fisher Invitational Case Competition, which took place April 9 to 11 at the Fisher College of Business.
Team members Breandan Gleason, David Benedict, Karen Spitzfaden, and Benjamin Gordon defeated 10 other schools, including The Ohio State University, Michigan State, and Purdue University.
The Fisher Case Competition was hosted by Caster Connection this year. Caster Connection is a woman-owned business operating in a commoditized space. The case asked each team to design a growth strategy for the business in this challenging industry.
"We spent all day Friday in a conference room discussing the strategy, researching the industry and company, building a power point deck, and practicing our presentation," says Benedict.
The first round of presentations split the 11 teams into three rooms. The Carlson School team won its room (in which Gleason was named best speaker) and advanced to the finals. In the final round, the team presented to the executive leadership team of Caster Connection and beat teams from Washington University and the University of Maryland for the win.
"Overall, it was an amazing experience," Benedict says. "I didn't know anything about casters until the owner of the company introduced them to us. Now, I feel like I can tell you exactly where the industry was heading."
Benedict said the team’s success at Fisher was due to its case competition experience.
"We each had participated in two case competitions within our MBA program and one case competition externally," he says. "We also worked well together. While we worked hard, we definitely had fun and kept the mood light. The most important class knowledge we leveraged was Professor Aks' [Zaheer] teachings on competitive advantage and corporate strategy."