A team of students from Temple University culled its business and information technology savvy to take first place in the Penn State Abington Business Challenge.
The team – composed of Robert Moses and Nicole Cirillo from the Fox School of Business, and Nick Carmen from the College of Science and Technology (CST) – claimed the $1,000 first prize and bested eight other finalists when it delivered its winning presentation April 2 at Penn State University’s Abington campus.
Temple’s team was one of 200 invited to compete in the Penn State Abington Business Challenge, a case competition in which students solved a complex business issue by providing strategic solutions for a company within the IT healthcare industry.
The Temple trio emerged from the stacked field of finalists by providing quantified recommendations and implementations, based upon six years of historical financial figures provided to each team.
“From an analytical standpoint, we went beyond this singular company and identified trends and drivers within the industry, which I believe differentiated us from our competitors,” said Moses, a Business Management major who graduated in May. “By providing more than a high-level overview, we also created a forward-looking table to account for our recommendations and expenses, and forecasted the potential revenue.”
Dr. Manohar Singh, division head for social sciences at Penn State Abington, and the competition’s organizer, later revealed the name of the unidentified company as the Greater Philadelphia-based MRO Corporation, which delivers health information management and technology systems built to safeguard confidential information. Steve Hynes, MRO’s chief executive officer, served as one of the competition’s five judges.
“It was an interesting exercise for the students – researching, forming hypotheses, and defending them,” Hynes said. “I was impressed that the students put in so much effort and leveraged the strengths of their teammates.”
Temple’s team delivered highly efficient and effective solutions for MRO Corporation’s desired growth within its particular marketplace. Teams from Swarthmore College and Shippensburg University placed second and third, respectively.
For Cirillo, a Business Management major who graduated in May, the case competition provided an opportunity to learn from other competitors.
“This was an interesting experience because it exposed us to the analyses completed by our competitors,” she said. “It was eye-opening to see students from other schools run their analysis completely differently, using the same figures, and it was great to represent Temple and win first place.”