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l-r Denzel McCollum, Gabi Solis, Kristen Brinson, Andrew Shibata, Candice Blacknall
l-r Denzel McCollum, Gabi Solis, Kristen Brinson, Andrew Shibata, Candice Blacknall

MBA Students Claim Second Place in IHG’s Case Competition

First-year MBA students Candice Blacknall (FT MBA, 2021), Kristen Brinson, (FT MBA, 2021) Denzel McCollum (FT MBA, 2021), Andrew Shibata (FT MBA, 2021), and Gabi Solis (FT MBA, 2021) won second place in InterContinental Hotels Group, plc’s, (IHG) yearly case competition in November. Named “Team Fabulous” the team worked on developing new rewards strategies and solutions to keep and maintain customers who use IHG’s luxury brands which include hotels such as Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant, Crowne Plaza, and others.

“Case competitions are an excellent way to collaborate with fellow MBA students and dive into real-world business problems,” said Candice Blacknall. Blacknall and her teammates worked against a tight timeline to pull together their winning case but their limited time did not affect their results. “One of the great things about time constraints is that it challenged us to leverage our own strengths to complete components of the case concurrently,” said Gabi Solis.

The team utilized the knowledge and skills they gained from their MBA coursework to create and build their case as they pulled together concepts from marketing, organizational leadership, and information management. “Our first semester at Scheller equipped us with the knowledge and resources to tackle the case,” stated Solis. She attributes elements of their success to Scheller’s faculty and curriculum, as well as creating a diverse team that relied on each other’s strengths to bring the final solutions to fruition and ultimately, to win second place in the competition.

As Blacknall stated, “We believe our team was successful because it was diverse. We all came from different professional backgrounds, ranging from e-commerce to healthcare, and were able to leverage our strengths to provide a holistic solution to the case. Our suggestion for other MBA students who wish to compete in case competitions is to form diverse and well-rounded teams.”

In addition to having the distinction of placing 2nd in the overall competition, the team also won 10,000 IHG points that they can apply for a stay at any one of IHG’s chain hotels.

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