UH Bauer NAWMBA Team Takes Top Prize in National Case Competition
A four-member team of female MBA students from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business wowed judges at the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) National Conference in Louisville, Ky., in early October, taking home first place in a case competition.
Aimee Langlinais, Kate Turner, Alina Tkachova and Stacey Brown — members of the college’s chapter of NAWMBA — beat out teams from schools across the country, including Georgia Tech, The University of Wisconsin – Madison, University of Minnesota, Lehigh University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and North Carolina State University, the six schools who were also in the final round of competition.
“There is nothing that can fully describe the feeling of winning and competing on a national scale,” said Langlinais, who is president of the UH Bauer chapter of NAWMBA. “I know I speak on behalf of my teammates when I say we all wanted the title more for the recognition of Bauer than for the monetary prize. People need to know that we — UH — are a force to be reckoned with and that we have talented students that companies need to snag up!”
Teams were charged with developing a five-year strategic growth plan for the Shideezhi Project, a NAWMBA philanthropic initiative and mentoring program with a mission to inspire and motivate girls on the Navajo reservation to pursue higher education, ultimately supporting themselves and their families.
The case competition required that teams incorporate marketing, fundraising, mentor development and mentee developing into the overall strategic plan. The task was especially difficult, Langlinais said, because teams were given the case on Sept. 1 and had just 10 days to complete their submissions.
“The edge we had in the competition was definitely our team dynamic,” she added. “There was no leader of the group; all of us worked extremely well together and were open to new and different ideas to create the best submission.”
The team won a $3,000 prize, sponsored by Home Depot.
“We were also able to laugh together, which I think helps in stressful situations like presenting in front of the judges and thinking on our feet,” Langlinais said. “We never lost sight of the end customer throughout the competition as well, which definitely gave us an edge over other schools.”
The UH Bauer chapter of NAWMBA is dedicated to empowering female students in the graduate program and propelling more women into leadership positions in corporate America.
With the support of successful businesswomen as mentors, NAWMBA has grown into a thriving group at UH Bauer, focusing its efforts in four key areas — education, professional development, networking and collaboration.
By Jessica Navarro