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Golden Bulls win top spots in CIBER business competition

Four Golden Bulls traveled to Georgia State University March 8-9, 2018, to attend the Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) International Case Competition - Anthony Jefferson ’19, a marketing major; accounting majors Caleb Letele ’18 and Bedrick Yobo ’18; and finance major Basir Wright ’19 were accompanied to Atlanta by Prof. Yvette Hall, Interim Chair of the Department of Business Administration and Economics, and Dr. Maureen Leary, assistant professor of accounting.

Four Golden Bulls traveled to Georgia State University March 8-9, 2018, to attend the Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) International Case Competition, and brought home first and second place prizes. It was JCSU’s third year of competing in the event.

The CIBER competition pit students from seven HBCUs and minority serving institutions against a real-world business problem. The students were assigned to teams of four, with members from different universities and majoring in a distinct field area. This year’s challenge was how Netflix could best move forward in the Indian market after a less-than-stellar performance since entering the market in January of 2016. Jefferson's team took first place for their solution, while second place went to Wright's team.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to get exposed to different students and their diversity of ideas and ways to approach the case,” Jefferson said.

The first day, students participated in a variety of events designed to foster a sense of unity, including a participatory drumming and percussion session. Then the teams were provided the case study. They had to do outside research in order to perform a thorough SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analyses, and support their recommendations with data incorporated into a PowerPoint presentation—by midnight. The next day, the teams presented their ideas to convince a panel of judges that their recommendations were feasible.

“We found that we had a lot in common and we had been through a number of common experiences,” Wright said. “The only issue was, there were so many ideas, it was a challenge to hone them down to formulate our recommendations. We just didn’t have a lot of time.”

Yobo agreed. “I learned how to take a massive amount of information, research it, and formulate it into a presentation with a limited amount of time — about eight hours,” he said.

“Our students brought a certain charisma and enthusiasm to the event,” said Hall. “Even advisors from other institutions remarked on their professional presence! This competition is a testament to the importance of a global mindset and reinforces the department’s commitment to international business education.”

“JCSU students stood out in every respect!” Leary concurred. “They were enthusiastic and well-liked. Their presentation skills were outstanding and they represented JCSU very well.”

Leary and Hall had met with the students several times over the last few months to prepare them for the competition, providing instruction as the students practiced working with case studies. Alumnus Ken Mabry ’17, who was part of last year’s winning team, took a break from his master’s studies at North Carolina A&T to share his experience with the would-be participants.

“It was a great opportunity for our students to connect with peers from other universities and work through multiple cross-cultural obstacles,” Mabry said. “It all plays into the strengths of working on a diverse, global team.”

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