2010 Student Case Competition Winners Undergraduate Division
Claremont McKenna College

For the second year in a row, undergraduates from Claremont McKenna College's (CMC) Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI) have won the undergraduate Case Competition. This year's winning team of Laura Bottoroff, Jessica Dang, and Katherine Johnson bested nine other teams from colleges and universities across the map. Teams from Kansas State University and Peace College finished second and third place, respectively.

Undergraduate Division Winners Laura Bottoroff, Katherine Johnson, and Jessica Dang of Claremont McKenna College

The case used for this competition was Nandan Nilekani: From Infosys to Politics, the story of a man's switch between leadership in the private and public sectors. In 2009 Nilekani was invited by Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to head the government's Unique Identification Authority of India project (UIDAI), which aims to provide an identity card to a billion citizens. That same year, TIME named Nilekani one of the 100 World's Most Influential People.

Preparation for the case competition is grueling for students. The teams work on the case for a month before the conference. Then, a week before the competition, teams submit a brief that outlines their analysis of the leadership situation, answers several provided questions, and bullet-points recommendations.

On the first night of the conference, teams presented a poster of their case analysis to a panel of judges. The top three teams were then given more questions to answer and were required to attend conference sessions and incorporate material from research presentations into their case analyses. On the final night of the conference, each team made a formal presentation of their case analysis to the same set of judges.

This competition would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship this year from the Center for Leadership at Northwestern University. Many thanks!

Katherine Johnson, 2010 Undergraduate Division Winner team member, shares her thoughts about the case competition experience:

"Competing in the student case competition allowed us to take what we learned from conference sessions and apply it to a real-world situation. It was also an absolutely amazing experience. We were able to meet people from all over the world who were so knowledgeable about leadership development."