For three days at the start of November 2017, nine teams of master of business administration students from U.S. and international universities met at North Carolina State University to compete in the NC State Grand Business Challenge. This is the second year that the NC State Jenkins MBA program in the Poole College of Management has hosted the event, with a focus this time on cyber security.
The MBA teams were tasked with providing an information technology solution to a hypothetical cyber security concern faced by businesses working in or with the pharmaceutical industry. Held at NC State’s Centennial Campus on November 2-4, the competition was structured to allow teams that advanced to the finals to select an assisting team from among those that did not advance. The top three teams and their assisting teams each received cash awards.
The Boston University Questrom School of Business MBA team won first place with a $16,000 award, assisted by the NC State Jenkins MBA team, which received a $4,000 award.
Second place, with an $8,000 award, went to Singapore Management University, assisted by the team from the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, receiving $2,000.
Third place, with a $4,000 cash award, went to the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, assisted by Clemson University College of Business, receiving $1,000.
The final prize category was for poster presentations. First place, with a $1,000 prize, went to Florida State University; second place, with a $750 prize, went to Texas Christian University, and third place with a $500 prize went to University of Economics, Prague.
Team presentations and solutions were judged by a panel of 12 professionals working in various IT positions at Booz Allen, Cisco, EY and Merck. The MBA students also had an opportunity to talk with company representatives during an informal career event held in conjunction with the competition.
“This Grand Business Challenge competition provides the students a great opportunity to gain perspective of several of the companies that are strategic partners in the drug industry,” said Andrew Porter, director of enterprise architecture at Merck. Also participating at the event were representatives from Exostar, NSA and SAS.
“These companies – both those sending judges and those attending to share career insight – all found great value in providing the students fresh insight about the pharmaceutical and allied industries – the challenges and opportunities available to them as they begin exploring career options,” Porter said.
Following are the nine 2017 NC State Grand Business Challenge teams and their members.
- Boston University Questrom School of Business: team members Rajan Agrawal, Vinay Busireddy, Qiaoyi Chen, Siddharth Sood.
- Clemson University College of Business: team members John Garstka, Jr., Brandon Schuster, Nadine Qubti, and Carissa Robinson.
- Florida State University College of Business: team members Breanne Gallagher, Matthew James Mueller II, John O’Shaughnessy and Phillip Sims.
- Johns Hopkins Carey Business School: team members Priya Arunchalam, Abhinav Chintakunta, Benjamin Schneider and Matthew Friters.
- NC State Poole College of Management: team members Jared Canady, Thomas Gentry, Vishnu Kotapalli and William Morisson.
- Singapore Management University: team members Sobhith Hariharan, Syed Imdadulla, Piush Kansal and He Maoying.
- Texas Christian University Neeley School of Business: team members Rosemary Brennan, Kyle Carter, Michael Janowski and Thu Ngoc.
- University of Economics, Prague: team members Tomas Cirkovsky, Kristyna Jahnova, Veronika Ptackova and Filip Vencovsky.
- University of Georgia Terry College of Business: team members Shub Agrawal, Nicholas Camic, Binh Dao and Daniel Stykitus.
“I congratulate all the teams on the outstanding solutions they presented to the judges,” said Beverly Porter, director of the Jenkins Graduate Programs Career Management Center at the NC State University Poole College of Management and coordinator for the NC State Grand Business Challenge.