A Georgetown undergraduate case competition team brought home the McDonough School of Business’ first gold medal since 2011 at the Scotiabank International Case Competition in March. Of the 16 teams from around the world who competed at Western University’s Ivey Business School in London, Ontario, Georgetown McDonough’s team, comprised entirely of women, placed first.

The case competition’s challenge was to address financing in the auto industry, taking into account the prevalence of ridesharing and the rise of electric and self-driving cars. According to Samar Ahsan (B’21), the team tackled this “very complex” case by presenting a multipart proposal.

“Our team presented a two-pronged solution to cater to the customers and dealerships that Scotiabank still has strong partnerships with while also mitigating the risk of these upcoming automotive trends by lending more commercially for rideshare fleets,” Ahsan said.

“Our team was successful because we were able to cut away the murky, superfluous information in the case and find the root of the issue,” she added.

Ahsan, Megan Carey (B’20), and Carolyn Kirshe (B’20) competed; all other teams had four members. The team brought a wide array of background experience from their undergraduate education, including skills in marketing, operations and information management, and finance.

The students also developed skills at the competition itself, Ahsan said. “Slide building, research, financial projections, and public speaking are all incredibly important skills to master, especially in a 15-hour time crunch,” she said.

The team benefited from a revamped approach to training for the competition, according to Monija Amani, senior assistant dean in the Undergraduate Program Office. After identifying outstanding competitors from McDonough’s First Year Seminar case competition, teams are formed and provided with weekly trainings, mentoring from representatives of various companies, alumni networking, and practice cases online. The more intensive preparation is a new approach, which Amani said helped lead to the team’s success.

The Scotiabank International Case Competition’s objective is to encourage meaningful relationships between students and faculty of business schools around the world — a benefit Ahsan took away from the experience.

“I met extraordinary people from all over the world and made valuable connections, making this experience unforgettable for me an undergraduate,” she said.