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Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Paul N. Friga
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2004

IU Kelley School MBAs crowned as champs in A.T. Kearney Global Prize case competition

Team of four first-year students awarded $10,000 prize

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business placed first in one of the most prestigious MBA case competitions in the world, A.T. Kearney's North American Global Prize Case Competition. This was the first time that the school had fielded a team in the competition held annually by the Chicago-based global management consulting firm.

Four first-year students in Kelley's Master of Business Administration program were invited to compete in the two-stage consulting challenge held in Chicago on Saturday (Nov. 20).

The winning Kelley team members and recipients of a $10,000 prize were Edzra Gibson of Detroit; Scott Kleman of Edgewood, Ky.; Kristen Wagner of Martinsville, Ind.; and Jason Woods of Grand Rapids, Mich. The team also earned $4,000 as the winner of the campus competition. The winner of the North American Global Prize is invited to compete against the European Global Prize winner for the global title.

Since 1996, Kelley MBA program teams have placed in the top three in more than 25 national case competitions.

Teams from 10 competitive MBA programs were selected to participate, including those from the Harvard Business School, the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, MIT's Sloan School of Management, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and graduate business schools at Columbia University, the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan

On the IU Bloomington campus, four teams competed for the right to represent IU in Chicago by interviewing role-playing consultants, submitting a 10-page written recommendation and giving a 15-minute final presentation. One team from each competing school went on to vie for the title "North American Champion" as judged by senior A.T. Kearney leadership.

Paul Friga, assistant professor of management and co-director of the Kelley Consulting Academy, serves as the coach for the winning Kelley team and other case competition teams at Kelley. Friga said the winning team worked extremely hard and believed that its comprehensive analysis, clarity and teamwork were differentiating factors.

"I am so proud of these students. Kelley went head-to-head with the best students from the best schools and held its own," Friga said. "The judges felt the Kelley students were extremely convincing and that they exhibited outstanding team camaraderie."

"It is critical that MBA students understand the complexity of business issues facing corporate leaders and the necessity for teamwork in solving those problems," said A.T. Kearney Vice President Tom Slaight. "The students from the Kelley School really leveraged and integrated their individual expertise to create a powerful team solution to our case."

The Kelley School teams that competed benefited from the support and advice of an involved and distinguished faculty. "Our faculty are extremely supportive of student involvement in internal and external case competitions," said Idalene Kesner, chairperson of the Kelley School MBA program. "We see these activities as a chance to compare the skills and knowledge of our students with those of other students in other MBA programs."

Edzra Gibson, Kelley MBA student and winning-team member added, "Competing in this case competition was extremely valuable to me, because it was a good test of what I have learned since entering business school. This was a chance to benchmark my abilities against some of the future leaders of tomorrow from both inside and outside Kelley. Also, it was an honor to represent my school on a national level. I know how talented my classmates are, and this shows it."

The Kelley School of Business' degree programs have been among the finest available for more than 80 years. Its MBA degree program has been a fixture in Business Week magazine's listing of the top 20 programs and now ranks 18th. Other recent recognition for the school included the Princeton Review's No. 1 ranking for "best-quality" MBA teaching.

A.T. Kearney is one of the world's largest management consulting firms. With a global presence that includes more than 60 offices in 37 countries, spanning major and emerging markets, A.T. Kearney provides strategic, operational, organizational and technology consulting, and executive search services to the world's leading companies. A.T. Kearney is the high-value management consulting subsidiary of global services leader EDS.