Tuck Teams Win Big in Three MBA Competitions

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CONTACT:Kim Keating, 603-646-2733

HANOVER, N.H.—A Tuck School of Business team took the top prize worth more than $2,000 in the second annual ODYSSEY competition at the Columbia Business School on February 20, 2010. The competition—described on the school's Web site as "the MBA Olympics"—pits five-person teams of MBA students against each other in three rounds of challenge that simulate modern business: the negotiation, the pitch, and the case. Competitors hailed from a dozen business schools around the world.

The Tuck team consisted of Sudeep Deshpande, Prashant Hegde, Chris Huston, Vishal Sheth, and Vishnu Srimurthy. "The key to us winning the competition was team balance and dynamics," says Hegde. "We had a great mix of students with experience and knowledge in entrepreneurship, finance, consulting, and negotiations."

Columbia Business School students launched ODYSSEY in 2009 as a forum for talent from MBA programs across the globe to learn from their peers and from accomplished business leaders. ODYSSEY also gave participants access to a symposium with a roster of distinguished business leaders from the world's top corporations. The contest was judged by a variety of industry practitioners.

The ODYSSEY competition win followed a similar win earlier in the month in which a Tuck team earned $10,000 in prize money by placing first in the Leadership in Healthcare Case Competition at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Tuck's team comprised first-year students Kaushik Mohan, Grady Snyder, Erin Schallhorn, Abhi Tiwari, and Kenton Allen. The students were given a week to prepare their case, 20 minutes to present it, and 10 minutes to participate in a Q-and-A with judges. The competition concluded February 12.

MBA students—including at least one first-year—comprised at least half of every team from the 12 competing schools. The case competition was a component of Goizueta's Sixth Annual Healthcare Forum.

Yet a third Tuck team brought home a $5,000 prize on February 6 for a third place win in the MBA Marketing Summit Case Competition organized by the Wake Forest Schools of Business. The event carries the largest prize money awarded in all marketing case competitions and features fierce competition between eight international business schools. Teams of up to seven MBAs work around the clock for 36 hours to develop and present a final marketing plan. This year's competition, sponsored by IBM, asked students to develop a strategy to enter Dubai and other emerging markets as part of IBM's Smarter Cities initiative.

Tuck fielded a team comprising Hareesh Chander, Prashant Hegde, John Lojek, and Paul Smart. With only four people on their team (the smallest among the eight competing teams), the Tuck students said they focused on developing a few innovative, outside-of-the-box recommendations rather than trying to outperform other teams through number crunching and quantitative analysis.

Founded in 1900, Tuck is the first graduate school of management in the country and consistently ranks among the top business schools worldwide. Tuck remains distinctive among the world's great business schools by combining human scale with global reach, rigorous coursework with experiences requiring teamwork, and valued traditions with innovation.

News Source : Tuck Teams Win Big in Three MBA Competitions
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