March 24, 2014

SEC Business Students to Converge on UA for MBA Competition

The University of Alabama will host the SEC MBA Case Competition, April 3-5
The University of Alabama will host the SEC MBA Case Competition, April 3-5

By: Edith Parten
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce will host the second Southeastern Conference MBA Case Competition April 3-5 at various venues across campus.

All 14 universities from the SEC will take part in the competition with each school sending a team of four MBA students.

The student teams will be given a current, real-world problem facing a company. Each team will analyze the information, develop a strategy for addressing the problem and make oral presentations to a panel of judges.

“This competition offers students from across the SEC the opportunity to interact and collaborate in preparation for their careers,” said Dr. J. Michael Hardin, dean of the Culverhouse College of Commerce. “We are deeply honored to host the competition, and we welcome all of the SEC schools here to our beautiful campus for a fun, friendly academic competition.”

The 14 teams will be divided into four divisions Friday, April 4 prior to the Saturday competition. The Saturday morning sessions will include divisional rounds at Bidgood Hall that will be judged by a three-member panel consisting of leaders and experts from Regions, the sponsoring company. The four divisional winners will then advance to the final round Saturday afternoon.

“This is a live, strategic competition where the students have less than 24 hours to solve a business problem and develop a plan,” said Dr. Brian Gray, associate dean, UA Manderson Graduate School of Business. We want to keep it as real as possible for the students and in line with what they will actually experience in their careers.”

The winning team will receive $10,000, second place gets $6,000, third place $3,000 and fourth place receives $1,000. Additional awards will be presented to individuals in each division for categories such as best Q&A and best presentation.

Regions, the official bank of the SEC, is the competition sponsor. Regions is also presenting the case for analysis and providing company leaders and experts to serve as judges for the competition.

The SEC MBA Case Competition is one of several programs undertaken by the SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference. With SECU, the conference sponsors, supports and promotes collaborative higher education programs and activities involving administrators, faculty and students at its 14 member universities.

The first competition was held at the University of Missouri in 2013 and the University of South Carolina is scheduled to host the 2015 event.

“The idea for the competition came about during a dean’s conference in California,” Hardin said. “During a meeting of the SEC deans, the dean from the College of Business at the University of Missouri, Joan Gabel, presented the MBA Case Competition idea, everyone liked it, and the rest is history.”