Undergrads earn top honors in business strategy challenge at Georgetown

Gainesville, Fla. – A team of undergraduates from Warrington took first place at the Fourth Annual Business Strategy Challenge held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Team members Sarah Anassori, Leilani Diaz, Justin Fung, and Shea Parrish claimed the top spot for the University of Florida. Georgetown came in second place, and the University of Washington, third.

The Business Strategy Challenge is one of the largest business strategy competitions in the nation. This year’s invite-only contest featured teams from a dozen top business schools and universities. Participants included Michigan, Penn, Boston College, SMU and the University of Washington, among others.

The competition, featuring a live case study of a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia, allows students the opportunity to make a direct impact on the community and consult on the financial, strategic, and operational problems facing the organization.

The Academy for Learning Through the Arts (ALTA), a public charter school, presented this year’s case. Faced with an ambitious expansion plan, low retention rate, and lack of funding and strategic direction, participants were asked to develop a business plan and a series of recommendations that would allow ALTA to achieve long-term sustainable growth.

In the preliminary round, teams presented to three judges – a professor from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, a representative from ALTA, and a professional in management consulting. In the final round, teams presented to nine judges and were subject to extensive Q&A. Judging criteria was based on analysis, recommendations, presentation, and Q&A.

The competition was hosted by Hilltop Consultants and the McDonough School of Business. Corporate sponsors included IBM and Kadix; in addition, the case was reviewed by the Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company.