Georgetown University Case Team Reaches Finals of International Business Challenge for Third Consecutive Year

November 01, 2005

Cynthia S. Shaw
(202) 687-4080

Georgetown University Case Team Reaches Finals of International Business Challenge for Third Consecutive Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- November 1, 2005 ---For the third consecutive year, Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business undergraduate case team reached the finals of the annual International Business Challenge (IBC), losing narrowly to the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University team. The invitation-only event, hosted by The McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin from October 26-30, included teams from 20 universities in North America, Europe and Asia. Georgetown's team included McDonough School of Business seniors Carl Fliescher, Travis Hollingsworth and Richard McCarthy, and Junior Allison Kahler.

Student Travis Hollingsworth said, "I never realized how well we all worked together until it came down to a real time crunch. Other teams had disputes and conflicts to the point that it affected their strategy, but, while we had different ideas, we resolved them by talking them through and following each other's logic."

This year's competition featured a "live" case study of Ford Motor Company and its strategy over the next three years in returning back to profitability. Student teams were given 60 hours to analyze this broad and technically and financially complex case and present their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges including executives from Dell Computer and Ford Motor, as well as various consultants and investment bankers.

"This year's case dealt with the current situation of Ford Motor Company," said Carl Fliescher, "which was a big motivator for us. The fact that this case was live and that representatives of the Ford Motor Company were judging the presented strategies was great."

Participating for the fourth time in the IBC, Georgetown was the only team to reach the finals three years in a row --- a rare feat. "I was very impressed with their presentation and their ability to handle the intense pressures of the competition," said Professor Jeffrey Macher, who serves as the faculty advisor of the team, "These students worked tirelessly to train throughout coaching sessions with professors, and their preparedness and intelligence was displayed through their presentation."

The final round matched Georgetown against teams from Concordia University of Montreal, Queen's University and the University of Washington. Despite Concordia's ultimate victory, the McDonough School of Business team's performance and poise was phenomenal.

"Composure was our best defense in the question and answer portion of the competition," said student Allison Kahler, "No matter how much research you have done or how strong you think your strategy is, the judges will find something that puts the entire validity of your strategy in question. The successful teams are the ones that can maintain their composure under the rapid fire of questions."

The McDonough School of Business Case Competition teams have reached the final round in their last four competitions.

About the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business is a premier, distinguished business school located in the nation's capital. Founded in 1957 to educate undergraduate business students through the integration of liberal arts and professional education, the McDonough School today has approximately 1,300 undergraduates, 620 MBA students, and more than 500 participants in its executive education programs annually. For more information about the McDonough School, visit

About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on its three campuses. For more information about Georgetown University, visit