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Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, October 12, 2007

Kelley School students take first place in competition at National Society of Hispanic MBAs expo

Oct. 12, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A team of second-year Master of Business Administration students at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business won first-place team honors in the 2007 Dell & Microsoft Marketing Case Competition at the National Society of Hispanic MBAs 18th Annual Conference and Career Expo.

Kelley CASE Winners

Left to right: Carolina Hoyos, Justin Chafe, Peter Kuo, Rob Bakalar

Print-Quality Photo

The Kelley School team, which consisted of Carolina Hoyos, Rob Bakalar, Justin Chafe and Peter Kuo, competed against five other top MBA programs: Northwestern University, Rice University, Emory University, Florida International University and University of Texas at Dallas.

These four-person teams, including the Kelley School team, were selected from 40 entrants who submitted business case responses to a business situation proposed by Dell and Microsoft in the first round of the competition.

The final case competition consisted of a five-hour marketing strategy case analysis that focused on retail strategy and culminated in a 20-minute presentation and 10-minute question and answer session. The judges were executives from Dell and Microsoft.

Case competitions are an important element of the MBA experience, said James M. Wahlen, professor of accounting and chair of the Kelley School of Business MBA Program.

"We are so proud of all of our Kelley students, but it is especially rewarding when a great group of students like Carolina, Justin, Rob, and Peter go the extra mile to compete and win against teams from all the other top programs in the country," Wahlen said. "I am very happy for them and proud of them."

Hosted for the last several years by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA), the case competition event is designed to give MBA students the opportunity to test their knowledge and demonstrate their business aptitude and analytical skills, gain exposure to top executives from Dell and Microsoft, and tackle a real world marketing challenge. The finals were held Oct. 3 in Houston.

Winning Kelley School team members each received a Dell Inspiron Laptop and a Microsoft Xbox 360 video game console system and had the opportunity to join a private networking reception with Dell and Microsoft executives. Andrew Esparza, senior vice president of human resources at Dell, recognized the Kelley team at the opening luncheon at the NSHMBA conference.

Justin Chafe, a 2008 Consumer Marketing Academy MBA candidate, said the judges explained that the Kelley team won because their ideas were well thought out and implementable.

"We had segmented the market well, selected strategic partners that could accomplish the goals we had identified, built a solid financial argument and developed an implementation plan," he said. "They stressed that the deciding factor was the implementability of the recommendations."

The National Society of Hispanic MBAs was created in 1988 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. NSHMBA serves 32 chapters and 7,000 members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It exists to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development. NSHMBA works to prepare Hispanics for leadership positions throughout the U.S., so that they can provide the cultural awareness and sensitivity vital in the management of the nation's diverse workforce.