Case Competition Workshop
On Monday April 3rd, we held our Case Competition Workshop with Britney Hu, a well-experienced case competition student and Sabrina De Bont, a judge from Standish Management, who shared their tips and resources on how to research and approach a case.
Why Case Comps?
Solve real-life business problems– beyond what you learn in classes
Find your unique strengths and values you bring to a team
Gain professional presentation & speaking skills
Applicable and useful for ALL majors, especially if you are interested in consulting, finance, or accounting
Tons of fun and international travel opportunities down the road
Introduction to Britney’s Case Comp Journey
First case competition was the Deloitte Case Competition 2021 and got first place.
ABSA case competition was on the same day and got second place!
Boeing Case Competition was the first and only case she didn’t place in.
RICC case competition this year was her biggest one and got second place.
Tryouts for UW GBCC this year
In case competitions, you are sent a file with the whole case, with questions and challenges you need to approach within the business proposal.
Britney’s Four Steps of Case Competitions
Find a team that you work well with. When you first get that case comp and you get to the first step, BRAINSTORM! Read the case and brainstorm, then share with everyone!
RESEARCH! Spend a lot of time on this– researching and solidifying your finances and the solutions that you have.
Third step, SLIDES. Your slides should be the last priority that you have, once you get into more competitions, the easier the slide making gets.
After you turn in your slides, PRACTICE! Know what you will say on the spot and the more that you research, the easier the practices will go because you know the concept of the case. This makes sure you present well.
Britney’s Tips and Tricks
Tip Set 1
Find a good team that you all get along with. If anything happens, talk with the coordinator.
Please take time to bond with everyone in your first meeting so that you know how everyone works together.
Tip Set 2
During brainstorming, make sure everyone shares their ideas. If you don’t, no one will know your ideas, so speak up!
Communicate with group members on the role you have (research, strategy, marketing, finances, slides). Communication makes the process a lot easier.
Tip Set 3
Everyone talks and everyone answers questions. When you practice, everyone has to talk on the team because a key factor of case competitions is teamwork. Everyone should answer at least one question and know a little bit about everything, like why you chose the strategy that you chose.
Body language! When you are presenting, do not awkwardly stand to the side or hide, go to the center of the room and talk to the judges as this helps the judges pay attention.
Tip Set 4
Make an appendix! When you are in the Q&A section, this helps you go to the relevant slide quickly.
Also make a table of contents, as it makes it easier to show the judges what they need. This is also helpful since slide decks can get very long.
Q&A with Britney
Can you tell us more about your first competition?
She’s been doing case competitions for five years and last year was the first college one that she has done.
Similarity of case competitions to DECA?
Single Roleplays are different, but team role plays may be similar. You have different timelines to solidify your solution and present but overall it’s roughly about the same.
How do you practice?
You do not always have to make a script (Britney creates a bullet point list of things she wants to sell to the judges). A full script might lead to mess-ups, so you should write some key points.
Knowledge that is helpful for case competitions?
You do not need that much knowledge, just have a passion, enjoy coming up with new ideas, and presenting them. As long as you are able to compromise and like it enough to be able to sell the idea to the judges, that is the best option. You can compromise by adding onto the slides or your presentation.
Marty: being open to others feedback and compromise so that you can reach a decision before the presentation. Most case competitions do not have one clear cut solution. The teams that do not do well are teams that do not solidify their solutions early enough and keep on looking back.
How did you meet your two teammates?
They were randomized through signing up! She had team members that were great and she still keeps in contact with them. If you sign up even without people, you can meet great people!
How do you do transitions?
DO NOT DO transitions on Google Slides or Powerpoint. Create and make the entire transition by yourself! Also, ALWAYS make a tracker so that judges know where you are. On the bottom, Britney has an icon (hyperlink) that she can use to get to the appendix at any time. This saves a lot of time and looks better to judges.
How do you present your solution?
List your entire solution FIRST! Your slides should never have sentences on them, except for international competitions. Minimize text and be straight to the point. For example, do not plop your entire income statement. If you do not have time to talk about it, put it in the appendix.
Sabrina’s Tips// Q&A answers
Don’t memorize your entire script! If you have bullet points, you can pick up queues for sections, which will help!
Step away from the podium. If you don’t, it makes judges bored because they do not see any engagement.
Creating interesting slides using brand logos, brand colors, some kind of way that connects to the company you are covering.
Practice your slides and presentation skills through smaller case competitions.
It is REALLY obvious if one person is mainly answering questions. Try to have each person answer questions. Two people can answer the same question in a conversational and collaborative tone, which does not go against you if you do it in a team-building manner.
Britney: if you are not rude about add-ons or disagreeing, and the information is helpful for the judges, it will not sound like you are fighting your teammates. Add-ons can also (sometimes, in a sneaky manner) be used to kill time. Also, sometimes, this is tricky, but you are able to trick the judges into asking the questions you want. You can brainstorm answers that judges might ask.
Ella: It is okay to say that you do not know. Say a generic answer like “Yeah, I’ll research and get back to you on that!”
DO NOT do screenshots of Excel, do the numbers on the slides.
Be able to explain the financials.
People overestimate the timelines!!!! A lot of research is required to start implementing things in a company.
BE CONFIDENT! Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, being transparent about it might help in the bonding stages. As long as you sound enthusiastic, it’s okay!
When you finish the research, take yourself away from everyone. Then, take yourself back and look at your work from a higher perspective to see if your project makes sense to a judge or company perspective.
Britney: If you take the chance to volunteer for the Case Comp Capstone, that’s a beneficial insight because people can sit in on the judges’ feedback, deliberating, and conversations. That gives people an upper hand and it is a learning experience to get more insight.
People notice the small things, so putting some effort might be good.
Some of the briefs are big. You can focus on one but make sure to address the other three.
Put the solution in the front so that you can convince people that it is a great solution.
Remember that judges are human and were in your shoes at some point!
ABSA CASE COMP!! You do not have to have a group! When you sign up, we can match you to your group members.