Three students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock won first place and a $4,000 prize in the Business Case Competition held April 13-14 at the University of West Florida.
MBA students Richard Nuttall of Little Rock, Lindsay Turnage of Cabot, and Eric Whitmire of Shannon Hills won first place for their presentation to JetPay, a Texas-based NASDAQ listed financial company specializing in debit and credit card processing, human resources, and payroll services.
During a case competition, students work to articulate a company’s core competencies while identifying revenue sources to increase shareholder value. They then develop case strategies to present to a panel of judges. At UWF’s competition, teams presented their cases to JetPay for their chance at $10,000 in cash prizes.
“Hosting a case competition based on a ‘live case’ situation in a NASDAQ-listed company takes our focus on providing students with high-impact, real world experiential learning to a new level,” said Dr. Tim O’Keefe, dean of the UFW College of Business. “The case competition combines two high-impact practices, real world problem solving, and competition with other schools into one event.”
Dr. Naeem Bajwa, UA Little Rock assistant professor of management, told Nuttall, Turnage, and Whitmire about the competition and served as their faculty coach. The students had six weeks to prepare a presentation to answer the questions, “How do we grow awareness of our company, and how do we increase our contacts?”
Their winning presentation focused on three key strategies: improving digital marketing, building a partnership with the local Small Business and Technology Development Center, and marketing the company’s services to medical schools.
“I thought our ideas were valid solutions to their problems,” Nuttall said.
The team members thanked Bajwa for his help in preparing for the competition and Stephen Harrow Dean of Business Jane Wayland for sponsoring the team’s travel to the University of West Florida.
“Dr. Bajwa found this opportunity for us, and Dean Wayland sponsored our team to go. To be given the opportunity to attend this competition and gain real-world experience was a great opportunity for us,” Turnage said.