Isenberg Student Teams Succeed in Case Competitions
May 12, 2020
Acing the Ethics Competition
A team of five Isenberg students has won first place honors in its division for the 25-minute presentation in the annual International Business Ethics Case Competition (IBECC). Founded in 1996, the competition hosts teams from throughout the US and overseas. In the finals on April 24-25 in Boston, eight teams from as far away as Ankara, Turkey, tackled cases that explored timely issues. In its own 25-minute presentation, the Isenberg team dissected the growing deployment of artificial intelligence in hiring and the biases that AI can generate. The team’s thorough, well-researched presentation clarified issues and offered best practices for managers. Competing team members were Thomas Colucci (Accounting, 2021), Jess Bielonko (Management/Legal Studies, 2020), Noah Gelman (Finance, 2020), Malcolm Olendzki (OIM, 2022), and Luke Norton (Finance, 2020). The competing team members were supported by other members of the Isenberg Ethics Team, including Anthony Catino (Finance/Chemical Engineering, 2022), Zachary Ettridge (Finance/Economics, 2022), Benjamin Hall (Marketing/Economics), Sabrina Najjar (Accounting, 2022), Tyler Heffernan (Finance, 2022), Ari Purdy (Finance, 2022), and Nicholas Goetz (Finance, December 2020).
Due to Covid-19 constraints, the students made their case remotely, meeting the many challenges posed by preparing and competing via Zoom. The team’s faculty advisor, Management Department Associate Chair Jennifer Merton, emphasizes competitive case work in learning. “Our success,” she notes, “is a testament to our students and to Isenberg’s strong support for the study of ethics in our curriculum.”
The department’s focus on ethics case competitions began in early November, when the school’s own annual Isenberg Ethics Competition took place on campus. The day opened with a keynote speech by Bill McQuaide ’82, chief product officer of PointClickCare Technologies, Inc., a software provider serving the senior care industry. McQuaide discussed the importance of leadership in developing an ethical corporate culture, and discussed how that dynamic plays out in developing the values and mission of PointClickCare.
Student BAP Chapter Is Finalist in National Accounting Competitions
Isenberg’s student chapter of Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), the national accounting honor society, reached the finals round of two national competitions—the EY Inclusive Leadership Award and the Grant Thornton Ethics Award. To reach the finals, the chapter excelled in preliminary competitions during the academic year.
The EY award, which comes with a first-place prize of $2,500, asks students to devise a detailed strategy and action plan—including budgeting—for enhancing inclusiveness and opportunities for it in their chapters. The Grant Thornton award, also with a $2,500 first-place prize, challenges student chapters to articulate their ethical precepts and assess their application. As a finalist, the UMass Amherst chapter continues to distinguish itself among BAP’s 230 chapters nationwide. Since 2011, it has secured its national reputation by winning both awards multiple times.
In other news, the chapter cohosted (virtually) BAP’s annual Atlantic Coast Regional Meeting in March, which attracted 300 students. The event’s keynote speaker, Isenberg graduate Jeff Sallet ’93, directs financial operations at the FBI.
Marketing Students Win at Digital Marketing Competition
One Isenberg team won second place and $500 in Indiana at the 2019 Digital Marketing Competition in December, and another won a specialty award for Best Owned Strategy. The two Isenberg teams were named as finalists after submitting video pitches highlighting their research findings, paid digital marketing strategies, owned digital strategies, and an overview of media placement and evaluation methods, and were invited to the in-person competition to present directly to the client, Harbour Trust.
The second-place team included seniors Samantha Mack, Alyssa Shear, and Elizabeth Regan, and junior Riley Anderson.
Samantha Borgstrom and Tiana Allen-Rodriguez made up the second finalist team.
Sport Management Team Wins Marketing Trophy
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management sent a team of four undergraduate students to compete in the Sport Marketing Association’s 2019 Case Competition in Chicago, Illinois, and they managed to win the competition as well as bring home the Aspire Group Case Study Bowl trophy.
The group, which included McCormack seniors Samantha Bernstein, Elliot Jenner, Madison Perlmutter, and Andrew Rumney, tackled the modern issue of sport streaming services. The team was presented with a service that needed help finding a market due to the great variety of events that they streamed. In response, the team looked to women’s sports to find an underserved market that the company could easily identify itself with. The group suggested that the service partner with smaller women’s leagues, like the National Women’s Soccer League, to take control of a niche market that could bring in new viewers, retain current viewers, and create a consistent identity for the brand.