If you ain’t THIRD, you’re last

This is my last official Fall Break. It doesn’t sound that exciting when you think about what I usually do with my fall breaks, sit around in my underwear, watch some football, maybe go for a bike ride… maybe. But this fall break, I was invited to go to a case-competition hosted by Purdue University in beautiful, West Lafayette, Indiana. So, we went. Most teams presented venerable teams of “who’s who’s” while we were basically a team of “who cares.” Our team consisted of Thomas “Steak n’ Shake” Gordon, Tim “The Northern Nightmare” Hutchison, Raj “Are you having a laugh” Suvarna, and Riley “The Nighttrain” Ross, aka “Fartmaster 9000”. If there was a Bad-News Bears of MBA case-competition teams we would be it. I suppose this analogy makes Dr. Stanley, Buttermaker.

For the unacquainted, an MBA case-competition is for those MBA’s that remain very-competitive and have to “feed-the-beast”. Teams meet at a commonly agreed upon place, are handed situational problems for a company (fictitious or real), and then work out the problem with suggestions, numbers, strategy, etc. You present your findings and suggestions to a panel of judges and then they will tell you if you were spot-on or spot-off. In our case, we were pretty close to the spot because we were awarded third. As a representative of Baylor, we are pumped about third. We were right behind Notre Dame and Penn State, who were awarded 1st and 2nd, respectively. That’s some pretty good company, especially considering the top-notch programs we beat including Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Simon (Rochester), Carnegie-Mellon, and Vanderbilt. I cannot tell you how proud I am that we competed that well among these top-notch schools. Incidentally, a big shout out goes to Peter and Vikesh from Purdue. These guys are great; after the competition, Peter and Vikesh escorted us to the various “networking establishments” for food and drink. I do have to say at this point, “Boilermakers=Horrible”. So what do we get as third place team? Bragging Rights, A false sense of pride, money and gas cards, a raging headache the next day? Yes, Yes, NO, Yes. No money or gas cards, those go to first and second place teams. Third place gets a trophy that goes back to the school. But hey, I got my picture taken with it… so… there, DBJ.

Following the results of the competition, it was quite obvious that the good people of our competing teams were somewhat demoralized… demoralized, crushed, defeated, maybe even considering their purpose in life. Does it make me feel better knowing that although we walked out with no monetary reward, that we took some top notch schools down a peg? Yes and no. Obviously, I can feed my soul on the remains of a competitors’ but I can’t feed my gas tank. My wallet isn’t any fatter on the destroyed faces of our opponents, but my wallet is fatter with receipts that only tell of the story of Kentucky’s comeback victory, a boilermaker rally, and a “Big Texan” to wash it all down. Ask me about the Big Texan sometime… you won’t be disappointed.

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