April, 2010

Ernst & Young/UMCA Case Competition

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

 Ernst & Young



On April 9th 56 students participated in the first annual Ernst & Young and UMCA case competition.

Case Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for students to work together in groups and practice their business skills, analytical thinking, and public speaking.  In the Fall of 2009 the Undergraduate Management Consulting Association (UMCA) decided that as a consulting organization it needed to offer a case competition so that students could actually get their hands on analyzing and solving a business case; just like they would in consulting.

There are numerous case competitions on campus but few that are hosted by the “all-star” companies that numerous students try to get jobs with.  This was where UMCA reached out the Ernst & Young.  As it turned out Ernst & Young was more than eager to partner in setting up a case competition.  The partnership between UMCA and Ernst & Young allowed for both entities to focus on what they specialize in.  UMCA focused on reached out to students and organizing logistics and Ernst & Young set out to find judges and a case.

14 teams, making a total of 56 students, analyzed a case related to how Pandora Radio can generate profit.  The judges were impressed with what solutions the students came up with, ranging from hardware devices to online advertising.  Ultimately the judges were most impressed and awarded first place to Vance Rouch, Venkat Rao, Elaine Raymond, and Cameron Chin.  These students will get the opportunity to have dinner with numerous Ernst & Young Partners and Recruiters.

The first annual Ernst & Young and UMCA case competition was a huge success and with numerous teams on the waitlist this year, we are eager to expand the case next year.

-Peter Fantham, Senior, Marketing/Info Systems

Global Business Brigades Spring Break

Monday, April 5th, 2010
29 UW students traveled to Panama with Global Business Brigades

29 UW students traveled to Panama with Global Business Brigades

A spring break somewhere warm is the ideal for the average college student in the northwest.  However, for a group of 29 UW students who traveled to Panama this past spring break as a Global Business Brigade, the experience was less about laying on the beach and more about working on the farm.

Global Brigades is an international non-profit organization that sends groups of students into developing countries to sustainably improve living conditions for impoverished populations, and the UW chapter of the business brigades just returned from their second trip this past week.  The group of mostly Foster School of Business students lived and worked for one week on an agricultural cooperative near the village of Machuca in the Cocle region of Panama, conducting workshops, learning about the lives and livelihoods of the farmers, and investing $2900 in the business in order to improve the quality of life of the members in the long term.

Students listen and take notes at a meeting on the farm while in Panama.

Students listen and take notes at a meeting on the farm while in Panama.

The cooperative consisted of 7 families operating 3 businesses: chicken farming, goat farming, and agricultural production of various crops.  The students learned firsthand how the farmers made their living, in the process learning how to milk a goat, process a chicken, farm staple crops, and administer a rural farm.  Through working alongside the proprietors, the group was able to understand the farmers, their business, and how it could be improved, and through this knowledge tailored accounting and marketing workshops to the farm, and strategically invested in the community to best improve the farmer’s quality of life in the long term.  Infrastructure development and continual business practice improvement were the top priority for both the community and the students, and the money invested in a new chicken coop and other resources to better serve customer demand will help ensure the success of the cooperative.

See the Daily article on GBB here: http://dailyuw.com/2010/4/20/Global-Business/

–David Almeida, Junior