Michigan Ross MBA team wins A.T. Kearney Global Prize

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A group of Michigan Ross students who plan to go into consulting got a nice piece of validation recently: They entered an international case competition sponsored by consulting firm A.T. Kearney -- and took the top prize.

As winners of the A.T. Kearney Global Prize, Ross MBA students Evan Adler, Cameron Lawrie, Paul Sutton, and Joe Lan earned cash awards, and they also get a chance to interview for Kearney’s Summer Consultant Program.

“We each found a good role,” Lan says of the team. “There were some of us who were better with Excel, and some of us were better at looking at the overall picture, but we really just tried to work on areas that we thought we would enjoy. Each of our roles came very naturally to us, and I believe our team was a huge factor in what led us to winning the competition.”

The A.T. Kearney Global Prize uses an actual client case as the basis for a simulated challenge -- this year, it was global market for a subsidiary of a major foods company. Student teams act as management consultants, with the support of Kearney staffers who play the role of the client and offer their feedback and insights to the participants. The students present their recommendations to senior company leaders and other experts.

The event starts with a school-level competition, followed by a regional round and then the final, which pits the U.S. winner against the European winner for the Global Prize. More than 120 teams from 13 schools entered this year’s competition.

“My takeaways really come down to a couple of things,” Lan says. “First, the team is vital. We all enjoyed working with each other, which made the numerous hours spent together on the project a lot more fun. We didn't try to find a "power" team--we just found people that we thought we would like working with. It also helped that we were friends before the case. Second, the best strategy for us was not to try to fit people's roles into what we perceived to be each other's strengths. We divided up the work based on what each person wanted to do. This really worked well for us.”

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