Alliance MBS Case Study Competition Prepares Students for Real Life Scenario


The Alliance MBS Case Study Competition, introduced by the Postgraduate Careers Service at the Alliance Manchester Business School in 2016, provides the MBA students with a rigorous preparation for case study interviews.

Renamed in 2017 as the Lord Alliance Case Study Competition in recognition of Lord Alliance’s £5,000 prize fund donation, the competition this year saw the participation of the highest number of 21 teams comprising 84 students. The competition replicates the case interview process with a mixture of one to one interviews and a group case study.

Earlier, during the autumn term, the participants had gone through a rigorous preparation process, including workshops by the alumni and members of the Class of 2018. The teams also went through the ‘Eyes on the Prize’ series: a set of videos, resources and cases shared via email to the competitors. They received a copy of Marc Cosentino’s ‘Case in Point’ book to help with preparation.

The winners were the Case Crackerjacks (Lucy Dwyer, Ayushi Gupta, Shefin Sam and Sarah Rosencrans) getting a prize of £3,500 with Charley’s Angels (Carlos Arano Nacif, Jon Bazan Martinez, Pimolpong Sriyapai and Howard Darling) not far behind in second place.

On January 12 and 19, 2018, these teams were invited to an individual case interview with a member of the Class of 2018. Over these two days, 12 judges conducted 84 individual case interviews. Later, the four highest-scoring teams were invited to compete in the final on January 26.

The judges were Julie Burton (Class of 2016, Associate at AT Kearney) Andy Roberts (Class of 2013, Lead Consultant at Wolfram Consulting), Malik Ajani (Class of 2013, Strategy Manager at Accenture) and Mrinalini Menon, (Class of 2018), a finalist in last year’s competition and judge in the preliminary rounds.

After the briefing session, the group case was distributed and the teams had just under 3 hours to work on over the course of the morning. During this time, each team member also underwent their individual case interview.

The group presentations began at 11:00 and with only five minutes to present, the teams had to deliver concise yet detailed recommendations regarding the valuation of a merger of two large confectionary companies in the UK. They faced some challenging questions from the judges who were sticklers for detail.

At 12 pm, the guests and competitors retired for some lunch and a well-deserved break whilst our judges deliberated and scores were calculated.

The winners were the Case Crackerjacks (Lucy Dwyer, Ayushi Gupta, Shefin Sam and Sarah Rosencrans) getting a prize of £3,500 with Charley’s Angels (Carlos Arano Nacif, Jon Bazan Martinez, Pimolpong Sriyapai and Howard Darling) not far behind in second place.

Third place went to Business As Usual (Chad Edwards, Nipin Gopi, Cesar Llerena and Haadi Mand) and in fourth place was HZG & Associates (Nicholas Mills, Lucas Machado, Gustavo Lavorente and Hermann Randlkofer).

For the participating students, it was stated to be an excellent experience as they could not only practise their case study interview skills in preparation for their real interviews but also develop their M&A skills and ability to work under pressure in teams.

“The practice gave me confidence for future interviews as for me, it was something new. Consequently, it helped me prepare for internship interviews as I could respond to interview questions about market and company trends to the same standard as a case interview.

“The case competition became an opportunity to learn from each other – in our group we shared our different backgrounds to build a wider view of each case study. We needed to understand business from different perspectives: analysing scenarios, structuring and providing solutions according to the challenges required in the objectives,” Cesar Llerena Castro from Peru, a member of the Business As Usual team said.(Image

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