Reanna Gillen, Barbara Tomaszek, Matthew Burrows, and Michele Panzeri represented Tennessee Tech's College of Business in the competition, sponsored by the Network of International Business Schools. Competing in the final round in February after a qualifying round last November, the team was presented each day with a complex business problem facing a multinational corporation, given four hours to structure a solution, and then presented the solution to a panel of judges from academia and industry.
"Our students competed extremely well given that it was their first Case competition," said Bob Wood, director of TTU's MBA studies. "To be honest, we were using this year's competition as a learning experience to better prepare for future competitions. We neglected, of course, to mention this to the team. Our students' performance in the competition far exceeded our expectations."
The TTU team’s only losses in the head-to-head competitions were to Bishop’s University of Canada, the overall winner of the competition, and to BI (Norwegian School of Management), the overall runner-up. In addition to TTU, final round teams represented schools from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland and Norway.
The students also took part in activities with members of the other teams and students from the host school, including a traditional Norwegian dinner, sightseeing in Oslo, and sledding at the site of the 1952 Winter Olympic Games.
Gillen, a senior finance major from Cookeville, said, “It was a great experience. Working under pressure on real-world problems and then getting to present our solution to judges from the business world was one of the highlights of my college career. The cultural experience and getting to meet students from other countries was also great.”
The NIBS is a group of business schools from 17 countries around the world. The member schools believe that the internationalization of business and the globalization of the economy are essential elements in the evolution of managerial practices. NIBS members believe that higher education and training must integrate a strong international dimension, including the practice of foreign languages, the study of comparative management techniques and the experience of working and studying abroad.Wood and Mark Stephens, TTU's department chairperson of economics, finance and marketing, served as TTU team coaches.