Michigan Ross MBAs Victorious in National Black MBA Case Competition


Congratulations are in order for four Michigan Ross MBAs who knocked out the competition in the National Black MBA Case Competition earlier this fall and claimed victory.

First-year MBAs Errington Bethel and Kristen Sock teamed up with second-year MBAs Sheela Lal and Nick Thompson to best 36 teams from top business schools across the country during the event, which took place Sept. 26-28 in Detroit.

The four students worked together for a month on their pitch, meeting two to three times each week. They were tasked with repositioning an FCA Chrysler service for potential market changes due to customer demand for new transportation options, such as ride-sharing services and autonomous vehicles. Their faculty advisor was William Hall.

Not only did the team take first place, but Sock also won an award for best presenter.

“Everyone was thrilled,” Bethel said. “One of our team members, Nick Thompson, had a torn Achilles and was on crutches the entire time. After hearing ‘University of Michigan’ announced as winner, Nick suddenly didn’t need crutches. It was quite the feeling. It truly made the late nights we spent preparing worth it.”

Rutgers Business School and Ohio State placed second and third, respectively. Bethel cited the team’s thorough preparation as the reason they earned first place. “We came in knowing the ‘why’ to our ‘how,’ and we believe that’s what differentiated our team’s pitch from the others.”