UMass Amherst MBA Students Participate in International Competition

AMHERST, Mass. - A team of four women from the School of Management graduate program at the University of Massachusetts is participating in the prestigious International Case Competition at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. This is the first time UMass has sent a team of master of business administration (MBA) students to the competition, which includes competitors from 29 other MBA programs from the U.S., Canada, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, and New Zealand. The event runs from Jan. 14-18.

UMass team members are: Janet Craven, a Smith College graduate who hopes to become a business analyst after graduation; Angela Tallada, an alumna of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, who intends to start a career in product/brand management and marketing; Nancy Kazmer, a graduate of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who would like to start her own financial planning practice; and Shiang S. Chao, who earned an undergraduate marketing degree from UMass and hopes to start her own business in international marketing and management after graduation this year.

Each participating team will be presented with cases that address topics with a special emphasis on business policies and strategic issues. The teams have three hours to analyze each complex case, and by using their combined knowledge and experience must formulate and present a strategy for action to a judging panel made up of senior business executives. During the formulation period, team members are not allowed to communicate with anyone outside the team and they aren’t allowed to have books, documents, or laptop computers, although calculators are allowed. "It’s a good test of what we have learned cold," Craven said.

Another graduate MBA student, Ravya Taghavi, the outgoing president of the graduate business association, representing students in the MBA program, said it shouldn’t be that surprising that UMass is sending an all-female team to its first-ever appearance at the competition. "One thing that is special about our class is that there are a lot of women," Taghavi said.

The format for the non-profit event is a round-robin tournament with six divisions. The three winners of the semifinal competition will compete for the prize, the Concordia Cup. This is the 16th year that Concordia University has hosted the event, which is eing held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.