Case competitions give FSB students opportunity to grow personally, professionally

Anna Whiteside, Caitlynn Sigman, Madison Jones, Gurnaaz Sohi, Preston Anderson standing together

“We all take 15, 18 credit hours. We're all busy students. We all are in a business fraternity, a consulting firm, doing other projects, involved in a lot of other stuff. We’re also all going through internship recruitment at this point. We're all just very busy people.”

Yet junior finance major Maddie Jones didn’t hesitate to team up with Anna Whiteside, Caitlynn Sigman, Gurnaaz Sohi, and Preston Anderson to take part in the P&G Case Competition last month, because they felt the benefits of doing the competition outweighed the additional stress and work it created.

“It's so important to get that real world experience early on because this is exactly what the world is going to look like once we leave,” Sohi noted. “It’s all collaborative, it's all about taking existing problems and how can we think outside of the box and solve them.”

Case competitions are one of the ways that Farmer School students go beyond the classroom to take what they’ve learned and apply it, while learning new skills, networking with potential employers, and learning more about each other -- and themselves -- along the way.

“We start with very, very basic research. And then that research will lead itself into more research and a lot of questions. We had this massive Google document full of different questions that we wanted to answer, and then as we through our research, we just added more questions, either more specific or going in different routes,” Sigman remarked. “Once we had a little bit of background knowledge to it, then we started bouncing ideas off of each other and building from there and seeing like where we needed to build up different ideas or go in different directions.”

“Every day I learn something new from each of my team. We all have such diverse interests which really contributed to the comprehensiveness of our project and allowed us to expand on areas that we were passionate about, like sustainability,” Whitehead explained. “Not only that, but it truly is a pleasure to hang out with them during our meetings -- our best ideas came from rambling stories that were accompanied by lots of laughter.”

“Embracing the ambiguity and embracing it as a team. Because there's a lot of unknowns in a case competition like this, where you're given the charge and then it's on you to figure out where you want this project to go,” Anderson noted. “We were able to have fun with it and also be productive and find ways to come up with some interesting solutions.”

The additional stress and work paid off for the team, which took first place in the competition.

“The reason I think we worked so well together is we all trusted each other's capabilities. When we had team meetings, we weren't afraid to play devil's advocate or maybe shoot someone else's idea down or maybe push someone and question them further,” Sohi recalled. “I think it really simulates what the real world will look like and gives us a glimpse into our professional goals and what achieving those professional goals will look like.”