|MBA students Lia Naomi White, John V. Hinson, Jr., and Tiffani R. Davis were crowned national champions of the National Black MBA Association’s (NBMBAA) National Student Case Competition.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – For the second consecutive year, Florida A&M University (FAMU) students were crowned national champions of the National Black MBA Association’s (NBMBAA) National Student Case Competition making history as the first university to achieve such a feat. The competition featured teams from Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Tennessee, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas at Austin.
FAMU first entered the NBMBAA case competition in 2007.
Tiffani Davis, from Dallas, Texas; Naomi White, from Greenville, S.C.; and John Hinson, Jr., from Miami, finished in first place winning $15,000 in scholarship money and three championship trophies. All three are MBA students in the FAMU School of Business and Industry (SBI).
“We are ecstatic and this second win proves that this was no fluke and that we are perennial winners,” said Lydia McKinley-Floyd, dean of the FAMU SBI. “Our students are well prepared to compete in these events from day one, when they enter SBI. It’s not a surprise that they are prepared to excel in business analysis and case presentation.”
Davis was proud to do something that will bring more positive attention to FAMU.
“It was truly a beautiful experience to pool together all the knowledge and theory I have learned in the classroom and put it into action,” said Davis. “Many people have misconceptions or preconceived notions, but this was our opportunity to set the record straight. FAMU is still the top producer of the highest caliber students whether they are from SBI or the School of Architecture. I am truly grateful to be able to do something positive for my soon to be alma mater.”
The differences from last year’s and this year’s competition came with the case. Last year’s focused on benefits and this year’s, being more comprehensive, dealt with a full business plan and launching a new line internationally.
The competition is held as part of the 30th National Black MBA Conference and is sponsored by Chrysler LLC. The focus of the competition is to give student-teams an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of and problem-solving skills in a formal competition. Teams were given a hypothetical business case and asked to provide a model business solution. Each team is expected to present their case to a panel of corporate executives and business professionals. They are judged on the quality of their presentations and the feasibility of their recommendations.
“The students displayed an impressive grasp of global business dynamics as it relates to this year’s challenging case study,” said Kim Harris Jones, Chrysler LLC senior vice president for corporate controller and auditor. “In particular, the students from Florida A&M delivered a sound analysis and unique solution that rose to the top to once again capture first place.”
Joycelyn A. Finley-Hervey, Ph.D., professor in FAMU’s SBI, and one of the team’s advisors, said winning the competition was a “surreal” feeling.
“It was just perfect,” she said. “I really had no idea that it would happen again, but I know in my gut and from my experience that their plan would win. It was really a paradox just realizing that what we worked so hard for was achieved.”
Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., also a professor in FAMU’s SBI and one of the team’s advisors, was proud to see all the hard work pay off.
“It feels great to know that they were able to pay attention to what was asked of them and demonstrate their ability to do the work and standout above the rest,” she said.
Both Finley-Harvey and Friday-Stroud agreed that one of the keys to being successful in this competition was for students to make sure they know the effectiveness of team dynamics and reap the benefits of being a student in FAMU’s SBI.
“There is a collective effort being made by the faculty at SBI,” said Finley-Hervey. “Over the years, we all take part in preparing students for anything they might take on in their professional career or in this case any competition.”
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