Marshall team places third in international case competition

first_imgFollow Maddy on Twitter @maddykeavy A team from the Marshall School of Business placed third in the final round of the Ericsson Networked Society Cities Case Competition last weekend in Miami Beach, Fla. — representing not only USC but also the United States.In its first year, the international case competition, which spanned from July to November, was sponsored by Ericsson, a technology company focused on information and communications technology (ICT).Teams are composed of three students, two of whom must be enrolled in an MBA program at the same university. Representing USC are three MBA students within the Marshall School of Business: Ketan Chaudhry, Joe Jackiewicz and Tim Kline.During the four-day final round at Ericsson’s Networked Society Forum, the USC team had the opportunity to network with Ericsson executives as well as other industry executives including Verizon CEO Lowell C. McAdam and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. They were given the details of their specific case Sunday afternoon, with only 24 hours to determine a solution.USC competed against three other teams. IAE Argentina, placed first, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta came in second and Tallinn University of Technology came in fourth.Team member Ketan Chaudhry said he saw the competition as an opportunity to make real changes.“How can we change society or change cities around the world using ICT not just today, but 15 years hence, 20 years hence, 25 years hence?” Chaudhry asked.To reach the final round of competition, the USC team competed in three earlier rounds. Starting at a Silicon Valley regional competition in San Jose, Calif., USC competed against universities including UC Irvine, UC Berkeley and Stanford University. USC placed first in this round, with Stanford coming in second.At the competition, the team was presented with a problem in regards to transportation and had to create a solution utilizing ICT. As a USC group, the team said it was a no-brainer to choose Los Angeles as its focus city.Kline said he believes the challenges the team faced were made easier because each team member played to his strengths, especially in the second and third rounds.“We know each other well enough that we’re able to take criticism well and understand that we’re playing devil’s advocate for each other’s ideas so they can be a lot more clearly researched and executed by the time we’re finished,” he said.The second round of competition emphasized a global perspective. The USC team competed against 15 teams from around the world. Instead of being location-based, the competition was remote. Teams submitted a three-page summary that addressed the problem and a suggested solution. The USC group chose Mumbai, India because it believed governance was disconnected from citizen engagement there.After qualifying, the teams gave a Skype presentation to a panel of judges who questioned the team on their submitted report for 45 minutes. The team members were asked questions about their suggestion, which eventually led them to the final round of four teams.The solutions the teams suggested were not meant to remain on paper but expected to be legitimate suggestions that Ericsson could use in the future, Jackiewicz said.“We really want to open up a new revenue stream, a new opportunity to engage with their customers,” he said. “I think it’s definitely possible that these things could become a reality. The key is for us to communicate our enthusiasm and show how much potential this project has and for them to take advantage of it.”Marshall case competition teams are chosen through an application process that full-time MBA students can apply to.“They have not only as a team been very successful but they’re really helping to build the Marshall brand and the USC brand by putting so much effort and time into this competition and really spending the time and making their recommendations as strong as they have to get to this point,” said Anne Ziemniak, associate director of the full-time MBA program.The competition culminated last night with the finalists presenting their complete presentation to network and industry executives.The team members felt positive about their experience in Miami Beach and hope they represented USC well.“My personal strategy is that I look at it like we’ve already won,” Kline said before the results were announced. “We got there to the final four.”last_img

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