Case competitions are a rite of passage at most business schools and Foster is no exception. We recently completed our annual spring competition, the topic of which was: How and where should Costco expand?
My five-person team, along with all of the other 20 first-year teams had 72 hours to research Costco, develop recommendations for the company, and present these recommendations to a panel of professors and local business leaders. After several long days, my team decided to pitch a more unconventional strategy—a launch in Chile. We knew that the company was intent to expand in Asia and Europe, but we also saw great potential in South America and found ways to prove it. To our surprise, this strategy paid off. My team was one of the four groups selected for the finals and had the opportunity to present our findings to high-level Costco executives. At a reception following the presentations, Jim Sinegal, the CEO of Costco, awarded us with the grand prize and an over-sized $2,000 check.
What I enjoyed the most about this experience, was the chance to integrate so many of the things I’d learned this year: teamwork, finance, marketing, public speaking, etc. It was a wonderful learning opportunity and I hope to get involved with more competitions next year.
– Kaia Laursen, FT 2011