Ahlers Fellow Jon Bocketti: Vortex Global Takes Second Place at the 2016 CUIBE Case Competition

Jon Bocketti, who is an Ahler’s Center Fellow, was a participant in this year’s CUIBE Case Competition held in Boston, Massachusetts and the team placed SECOND overall! Read on to find out more about his experience.

The CUIBE International Business Case Competition hosted by Northeastern University proved to be one of the most educational and applicable experiences I have participated in while at USD. Held in Boston, Massachusetts, this year’s competition brought in talented students from 16 schools from all around the country all trying to solve the challenging case.

Below I’ve provided 3 tips on how to take advantage of the trip and competition:

STEP 1: Explore Boston

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Being from the Northeast, arriving in Boston and feeling the cool crisp air, all while seeing the fall foliage only added to my excitement. Arriving on Wednesday, November 2nd, we went out to the North End for a delicious Italian dinner. The quaint cozy feel of the restaurant solidified we were no longer in San Diego. A long day of travel, a stomach full of pasta and meatballs, and a scenic walk back to our hotel meant for an early bed time. The next day, we had all day to explore the city of Boston. Some of our stops included the harbor district and Quincy market. On the Sunday following the competition, I went to the Top of the Hub, located on the 52nd floor of the Prudential Building. Here, you could see all of Boston. Boston has a lot of history and provided the team with inspiration for our case analysis.

STEP 2: Work Collaboratively

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When I first met my other team members, we discussed what we wanted to get out of the competition and how we personally would contribute to the team. We all wanted to put in our best effort, but also have a good time. We planned a dinner to serve as an icebreaker to get to know each other outside of the competition mindset. Before heading to Boston, the team was given a practice case. We met a few times to come up with a solution and presented it to two different panels of judges consisting of USD faculty. This was a great experience within itself, because we were able to garner real feedback without the pressure of the competition or getting graded. During the first night of the competition, we took time to read the case individually and came up with our own ideas on how to solve the challenging case. We then came together to discuss our ideas and concerns of the case. To avoid group-think and make sure that all of our ideas were heard, we decided to have a brainstorming session. During this brainstorming session, all ideas, no matter how crazy, were written down with no objections. This is where I attribute most of our success. To finish the night, we reviewed our brainstorming ideas list. The objective of the review was to be critical, but also constructive, and to see how these ideas could be incorporated into our overall plan. While we were working, we wanted to make sure that each team member was on board with the plan and understood every aspect of the plan. This proved to ensure that during our presentation and the Q&A section, we were all confident with every aspect of our plan.

STEP 3: Have Fun

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One of the most important aspects for me was to have fun. Although this competition was the perfect outlet to focus my natural competitive personality, I wanted to have fun in the process, and make sure the whole team was in good spirits. Throughout the analysis, and even right before the presentations, we would have dance breaks just to loosen up and relieve some stress. One of my favorite parts was getting to know the other students that were also competing. After the first round of presentations, it was announced our team had moved onto the final four. During the closing ceremony, I thought to myself that no matter what place we got, I could say that we had tried our hardest and had fun in the process … winning second was just the cherry on top.

Overall, I had the best time and am truly grateful for this experience.

To check out more student experiences, please visit our Study Abroad blog page.

Information on international opportunities can also be found on our website.