Notre Dame women win MBA case competition
Published: September 23, 2011 / Author: Carol Elliott
An all-female team of Notre Dame MBA students won first place in a recent
case competition sponsored by the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA),
winning out in the final round over five schools.
The competition took place Sept. 15-17 in Dallas-Fort Worth as part of the
annual NAWMBA Conference and Career Fair. Teams could include male and female participants.
The winning team from the Mendoza
College of Business at the University of Notre Dame included Kathryn Pelletier,
Sunita Satpathy, Jennafer Newcomb and Jing Wang.
“The NAWMBA case competition is without a doubt, the highlight of my MBA
experience to date,” said Pelletier. “It was incredibly challenging and
fun, and an opportunity for our team to further refine our problem-solving
skills. We were able to provide valuable recommendations in solving a real-world
company issue, and represent Notre Dame on a national level.”
The University of Chicago finished in second place, with the University of
Texas at Dallas taking third. Notre Dame received $3,000 in prize money for its
The details of the case are proprietary, but they
involved designing a marketing strategy that included the implementation of new
customer-service technology. Teams submitted a business memo that included
competitive data and a cost-benefit analysis of technological
recommendations, as well as a SWOT analysis of the company’s current customer
Against strong competition, Pelletier said she
thinks the Notre Dame team stood out because of the thoroughness of its research
and recommendations, and the alignment of the recommendations with the company’s
values. “We also included the human element in addition to technology in our
proposal, which is really key to providing top quality customer service,” she
NAWMBA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
leadership development of female business professionals and to enhance the
diversity of the nation‘s workforce. The
group focuses on the development of early to mid-career stage professionals and
serves three related client groups: female MBA students, female business
professionals and employers.
The Notre Dame MBA at the Mendoza College of Business
enrolls approximately 340 students annually in its one-year and two-year
programs. The program is designed to sharpen students’ analytical and
problem-solving skills, enhance their leadership ability and increase emphasis
on ethical decision making. Students have the opportunity to study the
complexities of global business through international immersions in Asia, Latin
America and other locations.
During the week-long Interterm Intensives, the MBA students
analyze, investigate and offer solutions for real-life problems presented by
executives from large global organizations. The Notre Dame MBA is ranked 24th
among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek and No. 4 worldwide on
the 2010-2011 Aspen Institute’s “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” an alternative
ranking that measures the school’s integration of sustainability and social
responsibility into curricula and research.
The Mendoza College also is a member of the Forté
Foundation, a consortium of major corporations and top business schools supporting
women in business leadership roles.