McDonough School of Business
IBM Case Competition
News Story

Georgetown Hosts Annual IBM Georgetown MBA Case Competition Virtually

This year’s IBM Georgetown MBA Case Competition overcame unexpected challenges as it transitioned to a virtual environment due to the impact of coronavirus. This annual flagship event, hosted by the Georgetown MBA Tech Club, is the eighth time Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business organized the competition  and the first time it went virtual. IBM has been sponsoring the case competition for many years, fostering a long-lasting relationship between Georgetown’s’s MBA community and its alumni working at IBM.

The theme of this year’s competition was “Emerging Technology and Business Strategy” and the challenge was centered around innovation in higher education. The teams came up with innovative proposals using IBM’s current product offerings and solutions, with the hope that some of the recommendations will be implemented in the near future.

Olivia Voslow (MBA’21), co-president of the MBA Tech Club, believes it was challenging at first for the teams to adapt virtually, but truly valued how quickly students evolved in the new environment.

“My favorite part was witnessing the teams give strong presentations in what may become a new normal in this virtual world,” said Voslow. “Given the international scale of the event, it was unbelievable to see everyone come together, while physically apart in areas all over the globe.” 

The virtual component showed to serve a greater purpose as students gained perspective on real-life virtual presentations for major companies and how to successfully navigate them. To enhance the experience, teams were asked to submit their recommendations in a 15-minute recorded presentation one day before the final round. Additionally, the teams addressed their client and the IBM team in a Q&A session.

“All of the teams invested in the experience, providing some amazing recommendations and suggestions, which made the product offering better,” said Kashish Kanyan (MBA’21), co-president of the MBA Tech Club. “It was a win for both the teams and IBM, as the students implemented real-world strategies, and IBM received insightful feedback.”

Georgetown MBA Tech Club’s marketing strategy contributed to the highest participant registration to date. To showcase its strong relationship with IBM, the Georgetown team created a hashtag #IBMxGeorgetownMBA to reach greater audiences by showcasing the competition’s highlights on LinkedIn.

The top four winning teams came from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business; University of California’s Berkeley Haas School of Business; UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, Ireland; and HKUST Business School in Hong Kong.