Jason Rife, David Price, Elizabeth Merrick, Matthew Lukas, Henry Liu and Kara Cupoli
From left, Associate Director of MBA Career Development Jason Rife, David Price, Elizabeth Merrick, Matthew Lukas, Xiaoyu "Henry" Liu and Senior Director of Full-time Student Affairs & MBA Engagement Kara Cupoli. Photo courtesy/SEC.

UF MBA claims third consecutive SEC case competition

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – UF MBA at the Hough Graduate School of Business won the 2015 Southeastern Conference (SEC) MBA Case Competition on Saturday at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

UF MBA was represented by Xiaoyu “Henry” Liu, Matthew Lukas, Elizabeth Merrick and David Price—the same quartet that won the Florida Intercollegiate Business Case Competition in February. The team was awarded $10,000 for its victory.

UF MBA has won the SEC MBA Case Competition every year since its inception in 2013.

“We knew it was going to be very difficult to win this competition for a third consecutive year,” said Lukas, “but we were also aware that our team had the skill and determination to win.”

The 14 teams were divided into four divisions, and had 24 hours to develop a solution involving the sustainability of an African mining company. UF MBA, along with the University of Kentucky, the University of South Carolina and Louisiana State University, won their divisions and advanced to the finals.

“The case was challenging because it was very different from most cases we have done in the past,” Lukas said. “But we had a great team, and we were confident we could adapt to any situation. The judges stated our solution was not only the most sound, but we had also taken a view of the problem on a more personal level, rather than simply attacking the problem directly. Our approach was measured by the long-term impact we could make for the largest number of people possible.”

Merrick credited her UF-sponsored international travel for providing a unique perspective.

“My global experiences while at UF in China and Haiti directly helped me understand the nuances of the challenges facing the town in this case,” she said.

UF MBA has now won seven case competitions since 2013.