Four first-year MBA students representing the GW School of Business earned second-place recognition last month in the National Association of Women MBA‘s annual national strategy case competition. Karen Berry, Winnie Chao, Anne Marbarger and Christy Rowley began the competition in mid-February when they were asked to create a 25-year roadmap for Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), an energy utility company based in Newark, NJ, to answer President Obama’s call to produce 80 percent of the nation’s electricity through clean energy sources by 2035.
The students, who had little knowledge of renewable energy and were in the midst of final exams, applied the skills they learned in accounting, finance and public policy to submit a first-round, confidential, case brief. After successfully passing the first round of review, they advanced to another round, where the field was whittled down from 15 to six final teams. On March 24, the students were invited to make their proposed strategy and recommendations to PSEG executives.
The case competition required application of GW’s MBA curriculum, but posed additional challenges because it was outside the familiar classroom setting, according to team members. “The case essentially said, ‘Here’s a pile of wood, now build a house.’ The challenge was to figure out which tools to use and what frameworks to apply, without being able to collaborate on our strategy outside of the team,” Berry said.
Team members noted that the most relevant business school tools were from financial and managerial accounting classes they had taken at GWSB.
“While it was challenging to be presented with a problem in an industry in which we had very limited knowledge, we believe that it was important to participate in the NAWMBA case competition to highlight women in the business community,” according to Rowley.
Posted by gwsb on April 12, 2011 | Filed under: GWSB News.