Case Competitions

Group photo at CBL Leadership Day
Students shake hands at CBL case competition
 Post-it notes on a board

In order to develop our students’ leadership, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, the Isaac and Oxley Center for Business Leadership sponsors case competitions.

What is a case competition? Essentially, student teams are presented with a business challenge currently plaguing either a real-world or imaginary company. They are directed to research the issue, given specific constraints, develop innovative solutions for the challenge and then are given the opportunity to present these solutions to a panel of judges. Often, these cases involve months of work, research proposals, academic writing and effective presentations.

KPMG: Achieving Strategic and Performance Objectives at Emirates Airlines

Center co-directors Brian Ballou and Dan Heitger wrote cases for a competition that was published earlier this year and was sponsored by KPMG and Emirates Airlines.

The case competition was originally developed for use at the 2015 KPMG International Case Competition in Dubai. For the 2016-2017 competition, more than 7,000 students participated globally, and teams from 22 countries presented at the finals in Lisbon, Portugal, in April 2017.

The top teams created viable solutions for the issues raised by Dan and Brian’s cases, which included one case involving FinTech and one involving data analytics. For instance, the latter case had students developing ways to help clients use data and analytics to enhance strategic development processes.

For more information about the KPMG competition and the cases that were published earlier this year, visit the website.

Isaac and Oxley Inter-University Case Competition

This competition is in its fourth year. From October to March or April each year, students take a deep dive into a case that involves energy and banking. The participants are varied, with students hailing from majors across the university. Engineering, sustainability and business students all gather to make their mark. Another important aspect of this competition is that it was planned and run by our very own CBL Fellows.

The 2016-2017 case competition was titled: “Using Financial Technology to Meet the Needs of Commercial Clients for a Regional Banking Institution.” For this case, students from Miami, Indiana and Xavier Universities were asked to focus on providing enhanced or new services for a Midwest-based bank’s commercial retail clients. Their goal was to find innovative uses of financial technology to solve key issues for these clients.

Teams, acting as external consultants, developed strategic plans and business cases for improving the effectiveness or efficiency of the bank’s commercial banking services for clients (such as those in the energy sector). Then, in April 2017, they gathered at Miami University to present their findings to a panel of subject matter experts and Huntington and Duke Energy executives.

And... Miami won!