Student teams compete in Robert Day School contest

Fourteen CMC student teams competed in the 6th Annual Robert Day School (RDS) Case Competition on April 4.

This year’s winning team which won a cash prize of $5000, consisted of Alexandra Arnett ’16, Jeffrey Hochhauser ’15, Sara Linssen ’16, and Ben Turner ’16. Together, these students evaluated a case entitled “Centurion Media: Doing the Right Thing.”

“The RDS Case Competition provided a difficult dilemma in which we had to consider the company’s profits as well as ethical and leadership issues,” said team member Arnett. “All of the teams were highly competitive and presented great solutions. The competition provided an important learning experience for all of us and we were honored to have the opportunity to participate.”

According to Brian Dennis, director of administration and programs at the Robert Day School, “All of the student presenters were outstanding in this year’s competition.

“The winning team, however, distinguished themselves by providing a thorough analysis of the complex ethical issues outlined in the case,” he said. “Through their compelling arguments and excellent presentation skills, Alex, Jeff, Sara and Ben were deserving winners of the competition’s top prize.”

In team member Turner’s view, the case competition allowed his whole team to contribute aspects of their own personal interests and skills to a unified project, with considerations to the legal, economic and ethical facets of the case.

“Our team managed to bring together our varying majors and abilities to present something we developed in a short time but were very proud of,” he said. “Furthermore, getting to vie for such an enticing prize while competing against some phenomenal other teams was an honor and a pleasure!”

On April 4, each team participated in the first round of the competition in which they had 20 minutes to present their analysis of the case and answer questions from the judges. 

Following the first round of the competition, three teams were selected as finalists and gave their analysis of the case to the entire panel of six judges. After the final round was completed, the judges conferred and selected the winning team which was announced in the Pickford Auditorium. The other two teams of finalists each received $500 prizes.

The teams were judged according to several criteria: effectiveness of oral communication with an audience, organization of the presentation with a logical and clearly stated position, use of assertion, reasoning and evidence and analysis of ethical decisions.

The panel of RDS Case Competition judges was made up of CMC faculty, alumni, staff members and practitioners and included Ilona Brunner ’07 – Manager, Tax at KPMG, Ricardo Fernholz – Assistant Professor of Economics at CMC, Phillip Friedman ’74, P’14 – CEO, Harlow Aerostructures, Dianna Graves ’98 – Director of Academic Planning at CMC, Alex Rajczi – Deborah and Kenneth Novack Associate Professor of Leadership and Ethics at CMC and Sara Thompson – Director of Leadership Programs at CMC’s Kravis Leadership Institute.

“Participating in the annual RDS Case Competition as a judge is a very humbling experience,” said Brunner. “I’m always impressed with the amount of preparation, critical thinking, creative presentations, and teamwork I witness as a judge. CMC students are really top caliber. I’m honored to be a part of this annual competition.”