April 14, 2018

LSU Wins 2018 SEC MBA Case Competition

Members of the LSU team following the 2018 SEC MBA Case Competition. It was the first title for the Tigers.
Members of the LSU team following the 2018 SEC MBA Case Competition. It was the first title for the Tigers.

By: Torie Johnson
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU won first place in the 2018 SEC MBA Case Competition held at the E.J. Ourso College of Business in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday. The winning team was comprised of Jack Anjier, Daniel Hofmann, Michael Lacombe and Roman Lantukh, and it was the first SEC championship for the university.

“This year we came with a different approach, and I can’t give enough credit to the rest of my team, said Lacombe. “It was a full team effort. It wasn’t just one of us, it was all of us. But, in a word, this is utter shock.”

Business executives from Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a Louisiana-based restaurant, presented all 14 SEC teams with a problem currently facing the company. The four-person teams were randomly drawn into four divisions, had approximately 24 hours to outline a solution to the problem and to organize a related presentation. A panel of judges from Raising Cane’s considered each presentation and the top four teams advanced to the finals.

The University of Tennessee finished second in the competition, followed by the University of Missouri and Vanderbilt University. This was only LSU’s second time to reach the finals, and it was the first time the SEC MBA Case Competition was won by the host university.

“I am honored and humbled to be a part of this team of young professionals who put forth the effort, dedication, time and commitment to win this competition,” said Cashen. “These types of events connect industry with academia, and it is critical for students to receive a realistic preview of what these challenges are and how to approach them under pressure. Sometimes your recommendation isn’t chosen, and that is reflective of corporate America.”

Individual competition awards were given for the best presenter in each division, as determined by the judges. Jessica Banks from the University of Alabama (Division A), Jonny Schultz from the University of Arkansas (Division B), Megan Barnes from the University of Florida (Division C) and Mark Zekoff from Auburn University (Division D) were named Best Presenters for 2018.

In addition, awards were given for the individuals who conducted the best question and answer session with the judges. Megan Garner from the University of Mississippi (Division A), Zachary Rowe from the University of Kentucky (Division B), John Cordera from Mississippi State University (Division C) and Michael Lacombe from LSU (Division D) each received Best Q&A recognition for their respective divisions.

The SEC MBA Case Competition began in 2013 and provides opportunities for SEC business schools to showcase their students’ skills at solving simulated, real-world problems. The 2019 competition will be held at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

A full list of winners from the 2018 SEC MBA Case Competition is below.

Final Team SEC MBA Case Competition Results
First Place: LSU (Jack Anjier, Daniel Hofmann, Michael Lacombe, Roman Lantukh; and Luke Cashen, Advisor)

Second Place: University of Tennessee (Carson Hollingsworth, Davis Michelle, Morgan Sowers, Abbey Wegman; and Dr. Randy Bradley, Advisor)

Third Place: University of Missouri (Troy Broeker, Shraddha Hegde, Annie Sieckhaus, Lycus Woo; and Jana Stern, Advisor)

Fourth Place: Vanderbilt University (Charlie Cook, Johnny Lai, Allie Lord, Rupal Patel; and Kelly Christie, Advisor)

Best Presenter Award
Jessica Banks, University of Alabama (Division A)
Jonny Schultz, University of Arkansas (Division B)
Megan Barnes, University of Florida (Division C)
Mark Zekoff, Auburn University (Division D)

Best Q&A Award
Megan Garner, University of Mississippi (Division A)
Zachary Rowe, University of Kentucky (Division B)
John Cordera, Mississippi State University (Division C)
Michael Lacombe, Louisiana State University (Division D