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The Jenkins MBA ‘Dream Team’ Represents at the National Black MBA Fiat Chrysler Case Competition

Poole College of Management Jenkins MBA sent their dream team to compete for the college at the 2020 National Black MBA Fiat Chrysler Case Competition across two weekends in September. The team competed against 34 other schools in the first round of competition before advancing to the final round to face off against teams from the University of Texas at Austin, Florida International University, New York University, John Hopkins University, Georgia State University and Auburn University. 

“Back in August, as an unprecedented Fall semester was coming together, I learned that the case team I’d be coaching would only have one second-year MBA along with three first-year MBAs,” said Michael Stanko, associate professor of innovation and marketing. “Initially, my personal expectations for the team shifted: three of the four team members were only a few days into their MBA. Soon I learned not to underestimate this team.”

After watching their performance in their first round, I would have been shocked if they didn’t make the finals; they presented and fielded questions from executives extremely well. It was a pleasure to learn with and get to know the team.

The Jenkins MBA team was led by co-advisors Stanko and Beverly Porter, director of the career center for Jenkins MBA, as the students soared through the business analysis and 20-minute presentation with a creative and solution-oriented approach. The team was also given the opportunity to interview for potential internships and full-time positions with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

“We can commission Jenkins MBA students with minimal project-related experience, provide them with all the support they need, and they will rise to the challenge every time,” said Porter. 

Though the team did not place in the final round of competition, they were victorious over many schools in the preliminary round including the first-place winner, the University of Texas at Austin. 

“These Think and Do leaders came out of this experience better than they were before they took the journey. They have demonstrated to our community what Think and Do the Extraordinary looks like in real-time,” said Porter.

Meet the Dream Team

Caryn Ervine
Caryn Ervine, first-year MBA student

Caryn Ervine

Caryn Ervine is a first-year Jenkins MBA student with a concentration in supply chain management. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and over seven years of accounting and finance experience.

Paxton Reil
Paxton Reil, first-year MBA student

Paxton Reil

Paxton Reil is a first-year innovation and marketing MBA candidate with a varied background. He is the co-founder of a growing media company in the Triangle and coaches improv at a local high school. 

Kiara Richardson
Kiara Richardson, second-year MBA student and team captain

Kiara Richardson

Kiara Richardson is a second-year marketing and innovation management MBA candidate with experience in B2B sales and customer experience. Reliable and results-driven, she looks forward to applying her marketing analytics skills to a B2C market. Richardson served as captain of the case competition team.

Stacie Sumler
Stacie Sumler, a first-year MBA student

Stacie Sumler

Stacie Sumler is a first-year MBA candidate with deep experience in corporate tax process transformation and accounts payable. With a strong focus on supply chain management, Sumler has her sights on driving efficiencies and optimizing operations within a major Fortune500 company.

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