Washington, D.C. — A team of MBA students from Wake Forest University Schools of Business defeated Georgetown University, MIT Sloan and 15 other teams to take home first place and a $5,000 prize in the Howard University MBA Case Competition Oct. 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C.
Joy Fuller, Ahkesha Murray and Talib Graves-Manns spent every day of the two weeks leading up to the competition preparing their case. “We even worked on it during our car ride to Washington, D.C.,” said Graves-Manns.
Teams were tasked with operating as project managers for the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Border Security Agency to coordinate the provisioning of construction materials for 300 miles of fence to be built from California to Texas on the border between the United States and Mexico.
The Wake Forest team recommended three major process improvements.
- Develop Earned Value Management Framework for the PMO office
- Centralize Warehousing and Distribution within close proximity to major thoroughfares and building sites
- Utilize Enterprise Resource Planning System
Judges commended the team for solutions which reduced costs and increased process transparency and accountability.
“We attribute our success to our study group structure—we didn’t ‘divide and conquer,’ everybody was equally versed on our recommendations and provided valuable insight throughout the process,” said Graves-Manns.
Fuller, the team captain said, “I was pleasantly surprised by how many teams from prestigious schools praised us on our ability to communicate our ideas effectively.” She also was surprised when someone from the case sponsor company, LMI Consulting, invited her to interview for a full-time position.
“Even if we had not won the competition, I would still have a great appreciation for the quality of the work we put forth and the strength of the relationships we developed,” said Murray.
“One of my goals upon entering the Schools of Business was to compete in a major case competition and win, so upon hearing about our win I immediately checked off one item from my bucket list,” said Graves-Manns.
“Case competitions are an excellent opportunity to apply cross-functional concepts in a real-life setting, while also developing some of the “softer” skills such as teamwork and communication,” said Fuller.
This is the fourth straight year that a Wake Forest team has placed in the Howard MBA
Exclusive Case Competition. “I am relieved and pleased that we could continue a tradition of placing in this competition and further enhancing the value of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business name,” said Murray.
A second team from Wake Forest comprised of working professional students Harry Byrd, Clayton Forbes, Jonathan Stout and Stephen Walker also participated in the competition.