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  A team of four first-year MBA students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management has captured the $10,000 grand prize in an international business case competition, sponsored by global management consulting firm A T Kearney.
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The Global Prize competition pits teams of first-year MBA students from top business schools around the world against each other as each seeks to develop the best business plan for a hypothetical multi-national company, based on actual A.T. Kearney client work. A.T. Kearney vice presidents and principals serve as judges. A.T. Kearney created the Global Prize competition, now in its ninth year, to provide valuable business case and strategic management consulting experience to first-year MBA students.

Members of this year's first-place MIT Sloan School team were Waqar Ali, John Harthorne, Harpreet Marwaha and Kim Grubert.

They vied with a team from Cranfield University School of Business in Bedfordshire, UK, in the global final round. At stake was the grand prize and the satisfaction of being named the winning team among more than a dozen of the world's elite business schools.

More than 675 MBA students making up 170 teams from 13 graduate business schools in North America and Europe participated in the competition's initial round, to select teams to represent each of the schools in the national finals.

Each team was tasked with developing a thorough analysis and strategic plan to assist a hypothetical global software manufacturer with declining growth in its core product categories. A.T. Kearney consultants acted as the “client,” answering the students' questions about the company. The first and second place team from each school shared a significant cash prize.

Winning teams moved on to the North American and European finals, from which the MIT Sloan and Cranfield teams, respectively, emerged victorious. Judges for the North American finals were: Robert Boll and Paul Garcy, both principals in A.T. Kearney's Chicago office; and John Blascovich (New York), Kish Khemani and Mirko Martich (both Chicago), all A.T. Kearney vice presidents.

In the final round, the contending teams were instructed to create a high- level implementation plan for the same hypothetical company and presented their findings before a judging panel comprised of Ken Lee, a principal in A.T. Kearney's Cambridge, Mass., office, and Phil Morgan and Bob Willen, A.T. Kearney vice presidents based in London and Cambridge, Mass., respectively. The teams were evaluated on their fundamental analysis of the client situation, their understanding of the market dynamics, and the team's creative insights and recommendations for implementation.

Other North American business schools participating in the initial rounds were the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

The other European schools participating were Judge Institute of Management at the University of Cambridge, London Business School, Manchester Business School and Rotterdam School of Management.
 
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