A team of Rutgers MBA students won first place at the Tepper School of Business International Case Competition at Carnegie Mellon University.
According to the Feb. 7 announcement, The Tepper competition centered on a major business issue for the tech sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students were asked to identify how competition sponsor Honeywell could better navigate through a period of troubling semi-conductor shortages.
Teams had eight days to prepare for the competition after receiving the prompt. The event involved 25 teams, including students from Tepper, the McDonough School of Business (Georgetown University), Kelley School of Business (Indiana University), Marshall Business School (University of Southern California) and the National University of Singapore.
In its winning presentation, the Rutgers team — comprising Nicholas Felli, Neil Gajjar, Thomas Parker and Joseph Russomanno — explained how Honeywell could improve its relationships with suppliers. The team looked at what other companies were doing in response to semi-conductor shortages, including one major tech company’s move to refocus business operations until the situation eased, the announcement explained.
In their research, the Rutgers students learned how the company had already responded to the shortages by listening to a quarterly earnings call to hear the CEO’s remarks to investors.
“We didn’t want to go up there and offer ideas that the company already had,” said Parker in a prepared statement. “We wanted to know what Honeywell was already doing. That gave us a leg up.”
The Rutgers team earned a first-place prize of $7,500. Students from the University of Southern California won second, and a team from the National University of Singapore won third.
Case competitions are important experiences for MBA students, the statement said, because they require them to apply their classroom knowledge to solve business problems they may encounter in their careers.=