University of Kentucky MBA student team places 2nd at the SEC MBA Case Competition

The University of Kentucky MBA case team placed 2nd in the recent 7th Annual SEC MBA Case Competition, which was hosted this year at the University of Tennessee's Haslam College of Business. These graduate level competitions provide an opportunity for SEC business schools to showcase their students’ skills at solving simulated, real-world problems that cover the spectrum of business disciplines.

The UK MBA team at the Gatton College of Business and Economics included current One Year MBA students Alexander Wilken, Jason Scarpa, Erika Penrose and William Lee Sanders, IV.

"My interest in the case competition began with a strategic thinking course elective where I was able to improve my visual and spoken presentation skills," says William Sanders. "After further coaching from the amazing MBA faculty this semester, our case team went into this competition fully prepared."

FedEx, the sponsor of this year’s competition, presented a business case to the participating SEC case teams and gave them 24 hours to prepare their recommended solutions. Afterwards, the teams were expected to present to a panel of FedEx and local executives. 

Jason Scarpa says, "Our team worked very well together and most importantly, we had a lot of fun doing so. Our Strategic Thinking elective in the UK MBA provided us with the framework to succeed. We entered the competition feeling confident that we would perform well." 

The UK MBA case team are all current students in Gatton's full-time, One Year MBA program which is designed for young professionals and recent graduates across all majors. The cross-disciplinary curriculum offers a diverse set of courses and electives, and includes a built-in internship consulting experience called Project Connect. The One Year MBA program also challenges candidates in mastering their soft skills in areas of critical thinking, negotiations, presentations, communications and problem-solving.

"Every class in the UK MBA helped us at this competition," says Erika Penrose. "The program has put together an outstanding combination of students, professors and courses, but has also prepared us for career success. Our achievement at the competition would not have been possible without the foundation that this program has built for us." 

MBA students at the University of Kentucky have the opportunity to participate in various team competitions throughout the year including the Alltech Innovation Competition, the Southeastern Conference Case Competition and Idea State U Competition, among others. 

"The SEC Case Competition was the perfect opportunity to practice and showcase the skills that I have refined in the MBA program," says Alexander Wilken. "My teammates and I have enjoyed this process every step of the way and would recommend it to anybody who is interested in participating." 

The SEC MBA Case Competition, established in 2013, provides opportunities for SEC business schools to showcase their students’ skills at solving simulated, real-world problems. The winning team receives an award of $10,000; second place receives $6,000; third place receives $3000; fourth place receives $1,000; and individual division winners for best presenter and best Q&A are awarded $250 each. The University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics will host this competition in 2021.