Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the College of Business sponsor case competitions?
Case competitions provide an opportunity for about-to-graduate undergraduates and top MBA students to challenge their skills and abilities as they analyze an ongoing business, consider current strategies and alternative courses of action, make strategic recommendations, and implement concrete steps to deal effectively with the problems/opportunities they have identified or have been asked to focus on by the case company's executives.
The college sponsors four competitions each year: undergraduate competitions in fall and spring semesters; an MBA competition in fall semester; and the Florida Intercollegiate Case Competition in spring semester. The Florida Intercollegiate Case Competition has included teams from USF, Florida State, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, and Rollins College.
What is the benefit to the company?
From the company's perspective, competitions represent an opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on strategic and operating issues from some very talented undergraduate and MBA students. Every company that has participated in case competition has left with at least two or three actionable ideas. We offer prospective case companies two possible participation options:
- General/generic case
USF faculty develop an overview of the company relying on published information. In addition to the overview, students/judges receive a packet of articles culled from newspapers and trade and academic journals that address the company, competitors, and the industry as well as published annual and interim financial reports. The student teams' challenge in this scenario is to both identify the most important issue(s) facing the organization and propose appropriate strategies/tactics. The company can choose to become involved, provide additional materials, and/or share non-public information.
- Focused case
The second option is a focused case that provides company executives the opportunity to identify a specific strategic or operating issue they would like students to address. This option involves more work for the case company, but leads to more customized feedback and recommendations. With a focused case, one or more company executive(s) presents the specifics of the case to the students on the Friday morning of the competition. This allows subject companies to have the student teams focus on any particular strategic or operating issue they desire. While we encourage case company representatives to attend the Friday morning case 'unveilings' for generic cases, the custom case option really requires company executives to frame the issues the Friday morning of the competition weekend.
Companies also have the chance to observe, and potentially recruit, some of the best business students in Florida.
How does the competition work?
Students apply for internal USF competitions by submitting a letter of interest, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. Competition co-chairs review applications and select 20-25 students who will then comprise the four-five teams that will compete. For the Florida Intercollegiate Case Competition, Colleges of Business at each of the participating universities field a team of 4-5 of their top