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Business students compete for fellowship

Casey Kenny | Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Mendoza College of Business has launched the Notre Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge — a virtual case competition — where individual participants analyze a contemporary business challenge offered by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and submit a proposal for judging.

Registration for the challenge opened on Jan. 17 with the deadline for entries of Feb. 4.

The case is presented by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the manufacturer of Keurig coffee makers and several coffees, teas and other products. The challenge invites individual participants to explore a real world business challenge, analyze the business problems and propose a solution that has a real impact on a sustainability issue while simultaneously strengthening the company’s brand.

The top submissions will be selected by teams of Mendoza faculty and staff and then submitted for review to social responsibility and relations and customer development executives of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

The competition is open to anyone, but provides an ideal opportunity for prospective students considering the Mendoza MBA program to glimpse the type of real world case studies offered as part of the program’s interterm intensives. These interterm intensives are a signature feature of the Mendoza MBA program and involve concentrated four-day case studies of contemporary issues faced by Fortune 500 companies.

Competition prizes range from a first place grand prize of a $10,000 fellowship to various second and third place prizes, including Keurig coffee brewers, McDonald’s and Adidas gift cards and Notre Dame apparel. In addition, the first 200 contestants who register for the challenge will receive prizes valued at $30.

With such prizes on the line, interest and participation are expected to be high.

“We have seen a huge response thus far,” said Brian Lohr, director of Notre Dame MBA admissions. “There is a lot of energy surrounding the competition and it seems to be resonating with a lot of people.”

The competition illustrates the mutual benefits derived from partnering with a major global corporation.

“The value of the program is that it gives students a glimpse into case analysis,” Lohr said. “It really is a win-win in that students get to see what an MBA program is like and the corporate partners get to evaluate potential real-world solutions to problems.”

The case briefing will be available to registrants online at the Notre Dame Mini Deep-Dive Challenge website today. The website will also feature videos that follow a team that competed in a similar competition in the fall.