DENTON (UNT), Texas — Three teams of graduating seniors from the University of North Texas' College of Business won cash prizes April 25 (Saturday) for placing in the spring 2015 Northwestern Mutual Integrated Business Case Competition.
The competition began with 50 teams composed of seven or eight students on average. The teams had to solve a hypothetical business problem for IBM by conducting a business environment analysis. Then, the teams had to create two business proposals to solve the issue.
"Students had to apply their business knowledge and practical skills to address a complex set of strategic, structural, and behavioral issues related to a public corporation," said Derrick D'Souza, professor of management at UNT.
Jasmine Harris, a senior in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, was a member of the winning group. She said the competition reinforced common lessons from the business world.
"I learned that hard work actually does pay off," Harris said. "There were days when my team was on campus all day. We worked really hard to make sure our financials were right, our paper flowed correctly and that we had all the information to make the proposal attractive."
The following students earned first place and were awarded $750 per team member:
- Jasmine Harris of Red Oak
- Anh Duong of Carrollton
- Katelynn Heckett of Flower Mound
- Jessica Gomez of Fort Worth
- Leonor Acevedo of Fort Worth
The following students earned second place and were awarded $150 per team member:
- Hailey Swift of Grapevine
- Feng Xu of China
- Suzanne Peterson of The Woodlands
- Marcus Walling of Keller
- Erin Eisenberg of Houston
- Jason Inderlied of Keller
- Jason Hagemann
- Preston Smith
The following students earned third place and were awarded $100 per team member:
- Samuel Chatterton of El Paso
- Ross Murray of Magnolia
- Corey Ervin of Mesquite
- Ashley Anthony of The Colony
- Olivia Craig of Rowlett
- Jalen Safford of Winsboro
- Brittney Spence of Cedar Park
- Heather Cumming of Friendswood
The competition has been held twice a year since 1995 as part of a capstone course for graduating seniors in the College of Business.
Past clients for the case competition have included Target Corporation, ReStore operations of the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, the Texas town of Cross Roads, Service King Collision Repair, Denton Community Hospital, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Sonic and more.
Northwestern Mutual and UNT alumnus Tait Cruse, managing partner at Northwestern Mutual--Dallas, have pledged $100,000 over four years to organize the event and to fund student' awards.
About UNT's College of Business
With more than 5,500 students, UNT's College of Business is one of the largest business schools in the nation and has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International since 1961.
With 103 full-time faculty members, the college offers 16 undergraduate degrees, 22 master's degrees, seven doctoral programs and 17 certificate programs. Three centers and institutes in the College of Business create synergy among scholarship, research and teaching. Classes take place in the 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in 2011.
Students enhance their learning experience through student organizations, study abroad programs, internships and the Professional Leadership Program to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's technological and global business environment.