The winning team of Heavener School of Business students with their check from the Johnson & Johnson Case Competition.
The winning team of Heavener School of Business students with their check from the Johnson & Johnson Case Competition.

Heavener student brings consulting skills to real-world scenario at the Johnson & Johnson Case Competition

Camila Vincent de Urquiza

By Camila Vincent de Urquiza, BSBA ’20

Throughout my time at UF, my interests have greatly varied, shifting from journalism, to law, and finally to marketing in the Heavener School of Business. I knew that I enjoyed psychology, and I needed a field where I could be creative and solve problems. In my sophomore year, I learned about consulting and with two other students, Evan Hauser and Steven Tenbusch, started the Undergraduate Consulting Club (UCC). That is when I realized that I enjoyed consulting and wanted to pursue it in my career.

In the last two years, I have participated in the Johnson & Johnson Case Competition twice, winning the national competition this year. I enjoy being able to problem solve with my peers and understand how companies need to think and act in order to succeed. I’ve also participated in the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study Competition, and most recently coordinated the first ever Warrington Undergraduate Business Case Challenge through UCC.

The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Case Competition is different than other competitions I have been a part of. The first round was on UF’s campus, where teams had two weeks to analyze the case and put together their strategic recommendations for a series of five decisions. I decided to get involved with the competition for two reasons. First, I plan on entering the consulting industry after graduation, and I feel that these competitions provide me with a solid background of what I might expect in a consulting role. Second, when I competed last year my team won second place at the school round. This year, I wanted the redemption that came from going to the national round and winning.

The case at the J&J Case Competition changes every year. This year, it was about Bonifront Health (a pseudonym for Johnson & Johnson), and the case presented an actual problem the company faced. Bonifront Health was considering a series of decisions regarding the Laradom drug, a pharmaceutical that is used to treat multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells). We faced several decisions, which we presented in three buckets: profit, innovate and assist. Within our profit bucket, we recommended that the company acquire the drug and utilize a low price point to benefit customers since cancer treatment is already expensive. Within our innovate bucket, we recommended that Bonifront Health invest in research for a new administration option for the drug as well as invest in additional research and development for a line extension. Finally, we recommended that the company assist patients by creating a Patient Assistance Fund.

Heavener students stand in front of the Johnson & Johnson logo at their headquarters during the Johnson & Johnson Case CompetitionTo prepare for the case, my team and I read it through separately. Then, we met up to discuss which decisions we individually thought were the best to come to a group decision. Over the preparation period, we had to overcome some obstacles, as part of our team had never done a case competition before, so there was a bit of a learning curve. However, after practicing with them a few times before the day of the competition, everyone felt confident that we would do well. Our presentation at the UF-level went well, and we felt that we had structured our presentation in a way that explained how each decision flowed together, which was initially difficult to plan as the choices were varied. After winning at the UF level, my team went to New Brunswick, New Jersey to compete at Johnson & Johnson’s World Headquarters. Ten teams from across the United States competed, many of which had beat 10 teams on their campuses to even be at the national competition.

At the national competition, we were able to tour the office, learn about the history of the company, and hear about the different career paths available at J&J. After the case presentations, we were named the winning team. We were proud of winning first place, especially because when we spoke to the judges they only had positive feedback and emphasized how much they enjoyed our presentation and slide deck. Our team also won $3,000 for a student organization, which the team decided will go to the club I’m Vice President of, the Undergraduate Consulting Club. Our organization is excited for the great things we will be able to do with the extra funds.

What I most loved about the experience was the students I met from all over the U.S. In fact, one of the students competing from Penn State was on the team that won the Heavener International Case Competition this past February, and it was cool to see how small the world can be. I valued the experience because I was able to learn about an industry I previously knew nothing about—pharmaceuticals—which I believe is very valuable, especially for anyone interested in pursuing the consulting industry.