By Ginna Royalty
A team of four Elon students took on 23 other schools at the McDonough-Hilltop Business Strategy Challenge hosted by Georgetown Universty Feb. 8-11. Meghan Greene, senior, Ariel Mittleman, junior, Matt Snow, junior, and Victor Soler-Sala, junior, made up the winning team. Patrick Bell, lecturer in management, mentored the group and traveled with the team to Washingon, D.C.
The McDonough-Hilltop Business Strategy Challenge is an international non-profit case consulting competition where teams are presented with a problem that real nonprofits in Washington D.C. are having. The teams then analyze the case and present their solution to the organization.
“In the classroom you’re only analyzing a problem from a certain standpoint such as human resources, marketing or finance, but in case competitions you are analyzing a problem in a more holistic manner,” said Greene, a marketing and finance double major. “I’ve really learned how to take a step back and analyze a problem and the proceeding recommendations while taking into considerations all the business impacts.”
This specific case was focused on a non-governmental organization whose mission involved encouraging engagement-based learning, very similar to Elon.
“The impact that engagement-based learning has on these lower-income areas is incredible,” Soler-Sala said. “It was comforting knowing that our school understands how important and effective something like this is.”
In just 36 hours the Elon students developed an action plan, which included a timeline and details for implementation, all of which was backed by research and data.
Case competitions help students prepare for the real world in many ways, “We presented in front of over 50 people, which for an introvert can truly be intimidating,” Greene said. “It also helps students prepare for the real world by exposing them to high-pressure situations with an academically diverse group of teammates.”