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UT team beats Ohio State, Yale in national business competition

While excitement is already building for UT’s Sept. 19 football battle against Ohio State University in Cleveland, one UT team has already tasted sweet victory over the Buckeyes in Cleveland.

Bringing home third place from the Minority MBA Case Competition V were, from left, Uyi Eguasa, team adviser Dr. Ainsworth Bailey, Gaurav Mehta and Jonathan Johnson, who posed for a photo along with David Chatfield, director of the UT MBA and EMBA programs.

Bringing home third place from the Minority MBA Case Competition V were, from left, Uyi Eguasa, team adviser Dr. Ainsworth Bailey, Gaurav Mehta and Jonathan Johnson, who posed for a photo along with David Chatfield, director of the UT MBA and EMBA programs.

It happened in early March at the Minority MBA Case Competition V sponsored by Key Bank. UT College of Business Administration MBA students Uyi Eguasa, Gaurav Mehta and Jonathan Johnson not only bested the OSU team in the early round competition, but also won over Rice University, the State University of New York-Buffalo, the University of Texas-Dallas and Yale University.

Advancing to the final, the UT team placed third overall behind the University of Washington and Indiana University, which came in first and second, respectively, and ahead of Carnegie Mellon, which placed fourth. A total of 21 schools from across the United States were invited to participate.

“Ohio State beat us last year, so this is payback,” said Dr. Ainsworth Bailey, UT professor of marketing and team adviser. “We were very excited to beat these schools and it means a lot to us.”

Bailey said the MBA students are given a business case to address three weeks before the competition and need to prepare a solution. For this competition, Key Bank was looking for ideas about how to increase its market share of express small business accounts.

“Our team had to prepare and present a marketing communications strategy and recommendations to build and retain these clients. They conduct research and work on solutions, and we pay attention to their presentation skills,” Bailey explained. “A number of College of Business faculty members contributed to the effort, including Dr. Sylvia Long-Tolbert, who devoted a lot of time working with the team on the case, Dr. Andrew Solocha, Dr. Linda Bowyer and Dr. Bashar Gammoh.”

At the competition, the students gave a 20-minute presentation to Key Bank executives, then fielded questions for about 10 minutes.

“Advantages to the students include they have a good item for their resumé, they meet people at Key Bank, and they can interact with their peers,” Bailey said.

Another victory for the UT team: Eguasa received an individual award for best Q&A in the preliminary round.

“We’ve participated in this competition for five years, and this is the best we’ve done,” Bailey said, adding, “I like to take students to competition. I use to be a high school tennis coach and was in charge of quiz bowl teams. I enjoy the competition.”

“We applaud the fantastic effort of the students and congratulate them on this national achievement,” said Dr. Thomas Gutteridge, dean of the UT College of Business Administration. “This entire competition reflects on the high caliber of our MBA program, the quality of our students, and the fact that we have a dedicated faculty interested and willing to participate in these endeavors.”

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