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Big 10 Win: Boilers Take First Place

Big Ten Case Competition Win_Ohio State_Purdue Krannert

On April 2, a talented team of four first-year Krannert MBA students advanced to the final round of the Big 10 Plus Case Competition at Ohio State University, winning first place among a procession of other universities including but not limited to: Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State and OSU. Complete anonymity was the competition’s theme. Instead of being labeled by their institution’s name, teams received an assigned color that promoted individuality over brand name.

Otherwise known as the Red Team, first-year MBA students Humphrey Kanyoke, Matthew Kennedy, Paula Navarro and Christine Rasquinha were prepared to win from the start. Despite a long drive and an unfortunate case of food poisoning, the group’s unwavering determination prevailed.


“We left the competition with a couple LinkedIn connections, a stack of business cards and a whole lot of memories.”

– Matt Kennedy


The team had exactly 24 hours to prepare for their 2-hour presentation focused on a business case for Installed Building Products, a leading manufacturer of insulation that recently launched a successful IPO with $1 billion of annual revenue. This competition was unique as it allowed participants to tour the facility. The team was able to better understand the context of the case after gaining a better understanding of the insulation industry. Additionally, the team was able to ask questions of real C-level executives.

“You’re asking questions and presenting to the CEO, CFO of a 1.5 billion dollar company. You have to look these people in the eyes who are taking your recommendations seriously- you have to take it seriously too. You are adding real value to their company, said Paula Navarro.

When asked what set their presentation apart from competitors, the team emphasized creative thinking and effective communication.

“We really considered all of the alternatives. We had a backup plan. Our presentation was sharp and our transitions were good. It ultimately came down to being prepared. We had that covered,” said Kanyoke.

Utilizing concepts learned in various classes such as Financial Management, Communication, Marketing and OBHR, the team put together their winning plan. They attributed their victory to current Krannert professors and their encouraging mentoring team (including 2nd year MBA student Dennis Hernandez along with Dr. Denise Driscoll and Dr. Teresa Sekine).

Overall, the team predicts that the solution they presented would bring an estimated profit of 45 million dollars to the company over the span of 5 years, if implemented.

The team looks forward to enrolling in future case competitions, with their sights set on continued success.

 4/12/2017