Four students of John Carroll University’s Boler School of Business will travel to Denver for the “Operation Stimulus Competition” from Wednesday, Feb. 3 to Saturday, Feb. 6. The competition is exclusively for North American business students from the United States and Canada.
John Carroll will be competing against 16 different universities, including The Ohio State University and Michigan State University. Each university is given a case study in which they must develop creative strategies to discover a solution to a problem that might occur for a business.
The case study is given to the students three weeks prior to the competition to allow them to prepare and develop ideas for the event. These case studies consist of a problem or situation that may happen in the world of business.
In 2015, the schools had to create a business plan for a fictional scenario of a business owner who plans to expand his business on a national level while handling and improving logistics of a business. These logistics include poor customer service, easing consumer tensions and methods of attracting new customers. Each team is confronted with similar challenges allowing for equal opportunity for their presentations.
This year, John Carroll is sending four students to Denver to compete among 16 other teams. The students representing John Carroll at the competition will be Edward Zgrabik, Abby Posadni, Alec Groff and, Monica Granata.
Granata will be the team captain at the competition, taking on this role after once attending the competition her junior year at John Carroll. Boler School of Business marketing professor Paul R. Murphy will be attending the competition as the supervisor of the team. Murphy is restricted from assisting the team until they have finalized a solution to the problem.
“Operation Stimulus” will allow for networking opportunities and to expand their educational and professional horizons. Granata said, “Going to the competition gives students a chance to meet other professors, students and potential companies that we can connect with and network with.”
Of the 16 schools attending, John Carroll will have one of the smallest teams. However, the students are not discouraged or worried about the size of their team, in fact, they view it as an advantage. Monica Granata stated, “because we are a smaller team, we can have the chance to show we are capable of doing big things.”
Once the teams present, they are allotted 40 minutes for presenting their plan and an additional 20 minutes to answer the judges’ questions.
Win or lose, the students will walk away with a valuable experience, Granata says. “Even if it isn’t a win that we leave with, we definitely leave with a learning experience. We leave with a better understanding of what to do in certain scenarios and situations.”