A team of four Heavener School students won the 2017 Champions Trophy Case Competition hosted by the University of Auckland’s Business School on Jan. 29-Feb. 4 in Auckland, New Zealand. It was the University of Florida’s second time winning the competition in the last three years.
UF students Simone Benscher, Connor Boles, Mateo Galvis, and Amanda Rorabaugh came out on top of a group that included teams from 12 universities around the world. Asia, Canada, Europe, Oceania and the United States were all represented at the competition.
What made the outcome even more remarkable is what happened on day one. The team came in last place on the first day of divisional rounds. They used a five-hour meeting with their coach that night to iron out the problems that showed up on the first day. They also knew that they would need to finish in first place in each of the last two days of divisional rounds to make the finals.
And that’s exactly what they did.
“Despite a rocky start, and some very tough cases, we all pulled together and came out on top,” Boles said. “I have no doubt that for the rest of my life I will still feel butterflies in my stomach when I think back to that moment.”
The team was forced to bounce back from their rough start and work together to accomplish their goal of winning the competition. It was especially difficult considering it was their first competition together as a team. Their entire time had to be spent thinking critically about how a potential solution can solve the problem in the case.
“That sort of mindset transfers from these competitions to the workplace, which is why it is no surprise that a lot of case program graduates work in the consulting industry,” Boles said. “Being able to deal with that kind of pressure is something that can’t be taught, but through participating in these competitions, we all now have that ability to shrug off the pressure and continue to perform at our very best.”
The University of North Carolina finished in second while the University of Southern California came in third. They were joined by Queensland University of Technology and UF as the four finalists. The other participants in the competition were the University of Alberta, the University of Auckland, Copenhagen Business School, Indiana University, Maastricht University, McGill University, National University of Singapore and Thammasat University.
Teams earned their way to the competition based on the results from case competitions in 2016.
The event brings together top undergraduate case competition universities for a week-long event in New Zealand. It challenges participants to develop their analytical, teamwork and communication skills across a range of business scenarios. It also provides opportunities for networking, team building and valuable experiences outside the competition throughout the week in New Zealand.