News Archive

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - Business Scholars exercise expertise in case competition

How to help a new carbonated drink manufacturer devise viable solutions to compete head-to-head against Coca-Cola and Pepsi was the challenge four Business Scholars teams accepted as part of the recent Kathy and Ken McCarter Case Competition.


Presented with the case about SodaStream at the competition, team members had to quickly analyze the situation, then work together to develop recommendations and create a presentation to support their view. Each team then had 20 minutes to present its approach to a panel of judges.


The Strategizers won the competition with a solution to use a major product differentiation methodology and other unique techniques to identify SodaStream as a significant competitor. The Strategizers team included Olivia DeMarco, Andrew Hutcheson, Leah Slazinski, Jonathon Strong, Laura Tack and Kerry Zhu. Winning team members could choose either from a stipend toward one credit of tuition or a Lenovo tablet.


Competition sponsor Ken McCarter MBA ’85; Frank Cardimen, special instructor; and Tianxu Chen, assistant professor, management, served as the judges.


The team competition approach cements learning in a tangible way and helps students develop into strong business leaders.


“The students learn how to think critically, develop oral and written presentation skills, and compete against other teams,” said McCarter.


In addition to case competitions, the Business Scholars program offers participants many ways to build leadership and analytical skills by giving members a chance to practice team work, leadership, analytical skills, public speaking and presenting.


 “Career development is of utmost important to everyone, whether they are students or employees,” noted team mentor Nancy Savage, special lecturer, organizational behavior. “Programs like Scholars go above and beyond in helping students to develop their skills and abilities, and prepare them for stellar careers.”


The final Scholars Case Competition will be Saturday, March 14 in Elliot Hall.

To learn more about the Scholars program, visit


By Sarah Blanchette