2011 Student Case Competition Winners
Kansas State University and Northern Kentucky University

For the past two years Claremont McKenna College and Eastern University have dominated the student case competition with teams from Claremont winning the undergraduate division and teams from Eastern taking home the graduate prize. Not so 2011! Eastern did not field a team this year and Claremont couldn't stop Kansas State from reaching the winner's circle. This year's competition was fierce with sixty students across seventeen teams. Students hailed from sixteen different institutions in seven countries.

Begun in 2007, the annual student case competition pits students attending ILA's annual global conference against one another in a contest where teams analyze a real world case involving contemporary leadership issues and develop a specific set of strategic recommendations that address key issues in the case. The winning teams in each division receive a $1000 award to divide amongst themselves.

As reported by the participants, The Student Case Competition is an amazing opportunity for students to deepen their experience of the conference, apply their studies, and put their understandings of leadership into practice.

Click here to view Kansas State University's Winning Poster.

Undergraduate Division Winners Bethany Caldwell, Chelsea Corkins, Theodore Stavropoulos,
and Erika Williams of
Kansas State University

"The case competition itself was an intense experience that provided a marvelous opportunity to strengthen our academic research, writing, and presentation skills." - Megan Downing

"The formative process of our case brief and poster was a leadership experiment in itself. Our team capitalized on each other's strengths and developed one another so that we were all of one accord.... I am proud to say it was one of the best experiences I have had on a team in my entire college career.... As a college student, I relished the chance to meet professionals who are doing what I want to do in life and be exposed to their journey and perspective.... I feel as if we were all a part of something greater than ourselves during the course of the conference." - Erika Williams

"The ILA conference was a valuable experience in so many ways. First, it provided networking opportunities with those whom I otherwise may have never had contact. Second, the keynotes and sessions presented timely information that was relevant and useful both personally and professionally." - Melody Rawlings

Graduate Division Winners Megan Downing, Linda Hayes, Cheryl Swayne, Melody Rawlings, and Shawn Nordheim of Northern Kentucky.

The competition consists of three rounds, with the first ending prior to the start of the conference. In Round One, each team must submit a 2-4 page brief which includes an executive summary, responses to preset questions, an analysis of the situation, and a bulleted list of recommendations. For Round Two each team prepares a poster of their analysis to be presented during the student poster showcase at the start of the conferences. The top three teams in each division are invited to compete in the third and final round. During Round Three, finalists continue to build on their case analysis using ILA conference sessions for further learning and supporting material. Each team concludes the competition by delivering a 15-minute presentation to a panel of judges. Winners are announced during the Plenary session at the conference close.

The case in this year's competition was Agility: A Global Logistics Company and Local Humanitarian Partner, which won the 2010 EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) Case Writing Competition in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility. The case looked at Agility's response to a humanitarian crisis in Lebanon in 2006, lessons learned, and the formalization of its position regarding corporate social responsibility.

Click here to view Northern Kentucky University's Winning Poster.