College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The Pressure to Win: MBAs Take on the Big Ten


Big Ten competition is not just on the playing field anymore. This weekend Illinois hosts teams from Indiana University, the University of Iowa, Purdue University and the University of Minnesota to compete in the College’s MBA Strategy Case Competition.

“I think we’ll be facing some talented teams,” said Brett Miller, a first year MBA student. “We’re looking forward to representing the University of Illinois in this competition.”

This is the second year that ILLINOIS has hosted the competition, and is the reigning champion from last year’s competition.

Jimit Patel, another competing first year MBA student, fully recognizes the added pressure for his ILLINOIS team to maintain the strong precedent set by last year’s team.  

“Surely University pride would play a big factor in the mix, not only because the competition is between five Big Ten schools, but also because we are the winners of the last competition,” Jimit said. “Since we are the home team, the pressure to win is even greater.”

The competition will begin Friday morning at the Business Instructional Facility where each team will receive the case, and from there they have the next 24 hours to analyze case problems and prepare a solution to present before a panel of judges Saturday morning.

“With only 24 hours to prepare our strategy and presentation we’ll need to manage our time well,” Miller said.

The team, which included Miller, Patel, as well as fellow MBA students Jessica Anderson and Yuva Murugan, has already logged hours of preparation in anticipation of this weekend’s event.

The team first competed in an internal competition against other ILLINOIS teams to determine who would represent the University at the finals. Since then, Patel said the team has completed two practice runs where the students tried to simulate an actual competition by giving themselves 24 hours to analyze the case and prepare a preparation.

“Our goal is, of course, to win,” Miller said. “That will take an in-depth analysis, a solid strategy and a persuasive presentation.”

Patel said he is proud of the work his teammates have already contributed and looks forward to the highly competitive environment that awaits them this weekend.

“The biggest challenge would be to meet the expectations,” Patel aid. “ILLINOIS has set some very high standards in the past competitions and our challenge would be match up to those standards.”

Well-wishers are invited to contact the team through Patel’s Twitter account,, to encourage the team and promote ILLINOIS spirit. I-L-L...

UIUC College of Business