Have you ever pondered the value chain of Coca-Cola – the world’s most recognised brand?
For six hours last Saturday, this question captured our full attention. Team Smurfit analysed the case, presented our proposal to a panel of judges, and then awaited the result of their deliberations. We were in good company. The MBA programs from Waterford Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, and Griffith Collage fielded teams that presented their own version of what Coca-Cola should do, given a critical decision facing the CEO. Our strategy toolkit was put to the test.
The occasion was the annual MBA Association of Ireland Strategy Case Competition. Like the Eurovision, last year’s winner becomes next year’s host. Following their success in 2012, NUI Galway provided all of the competitors with warm hospitality.
A cardiac stress test is used in hospitals to measure the heart’s ability to respond to external stress in a controlled environment. The MBA stress test must be the case competition. With just four hours to read a case, analyse the data, and prepare a series of recommendations, you feel the pressure. Cooked up in a classroom for four hours provides the ideal controlled environment for the Storming Stage of team development.
When it counted this past weekend, our team passed the stress test. We are delighted to bring the winner’s trophy back to Smurfit.
Special thanks to Pat Gibbons, our strategy guru, Michael McDonnell, our coordinator (& travel budget finder), and the extended MBAAI organising team, who organized a fantastic occasion.
On a personal note, my best fortune of the MBA experience was getting to befriend and team up with Benjamin Bechtolsheim, Therese O’Rourke, Robert Farrell and Neil Krige. We had a great time working together, and we share the victory with each other and our school.
To the 2014 Smurfit MBA cohort we pass on the baton!
– Richie Somerville, FT MBA 2012/13