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Kelley School of Business takes first

Indiana University

Indiana University – Allie Newell, Clare Wang and Grace Hahn with Jennifer Halinda (Executive Director, DFSV) and Flora Yang (Chair, CaseIT 2017)

In case you missed it, CaseIT 2017 ended last week with a few firsts. Students from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business took home the first place prize at CaseIT and became the first school from the United States to take this honour in the 14 years of CaseIT.

On this team were senior students Allie Newell, Clare Wang, and Grace Hahn with coaches Alex Lopes and Joel Rubin. Congratulations to this talented team from Indiana University. We caught up with Grace, Allie and Clare to see what they thought about CaseIT and how they prepared for the competition.

What was your first thought when you heard your school being announced as the first place winners for CaseIT 2017?

Allie: My first reaction when I heard we won was disbelief, and then gratitude for my incredible team and coaches. I loved working with Clare and Grace, and winning with them was absolutely amazing. We were especially excited because we knew we were the first team from Indiana University to win CaseIT, and we had prepared a lot before the competition.

Clare: A wave of happiness and relief washed over me. I eagerly jumped out of my chair to hug my teammates, and I exclaimed, “We did it!”

Grace: My heart was racing while we waited to hear the place announcements. When our school was announced for first place, I was cheering on the inside. I felt great after our finals presentation and was very proud of all the work we completed in the prior 24 hours.

What was the most challenging part about participating in CaseIT?

Allie: The most challenging part about CaseIT was the case itself. I loved the client, Dress for Success Vancouver, and the case was rich with details that gave us plenty of options for analysis and ideas. With all the details, we first tried tackling everything; then we realized that wouldn’t work, so we had to narrow our focus to the parts of our recommendation that would drive the most impact for Dress for Success Vancouver.

Clare: Presenting our case to members of the Board of Directors and representatives from ten other countries was initially intimidating. Taking into consideration our lack of sleep during the 24 hour deliberation period, I credit our success to our preparation in professional workshops at Kelley.

Grace: Working through the exhaustion. Our team did not sleep at all during the deliberation period.

What was the most memorable moment during the week of CaseIT?

Allie: The most memorable moment was when we found out we had advanced to the finals. It was memorable because our team host (Brendan) was so excited and was doing the best happy dance at the top of the stairs! Seeing him be so genuinely happy for us summed up our experiences and friendships we made throughout the week of CaseIT.

Clare: I was also blown away by the number of teams and individuals that congratulated us after our win – it was a testament to the friendships and atmosphere of support that was created at CaseIT.

Grace: Presenting in front of the board of DFSV. It was exhilarating being up on stage in-front of everyone sharing our ideas.

How did your team prepare for CaseIT?

Allie: We did a lot of research about technology, Canada, and industry trends. We also did two 24-hour mock cases. Our coaches provided us with really helpful feedback, so we improved a lot throughout the process.

Clare: Beginning with research, I reached out to a friend from Victoria, British Columbia to learn about the business environment in Canada. After we built a ghost deck of slides, we completed two mock 24-hour cases. I learned a lot about how to work with Allie and Grace during these practice cases. The highlight of our preparation was the hours of personalized feedback we received from Alex Lopes and Joel Rubin.

Grace: Prior to the competition we did a few practice cases to see what it was like analyzing a problem and preparing a presentation within 24 hours.

Any tips for those who are interested in competing at CaseIT in the future?

Allie: It is the best case competition! Enjoy every minute and take the time to get to know the hosts and other teams. CaseIT is such a unique opportunity to get to know students from around the world– and have a blast exploring Vancouver!

Clare: Become friends with your teammates! Building team chemistry enabled us work through challenging discussions during the case. Also, get to know the locals – they will help you acclimate to the new environment and provide you quick new insights to enrich your case solution.

Grace: When finding a solution to the case, pick something that interests you. Our team thought virtual reality and micro-donating were fun solutions. This made the deliberation period (and staying up all night) more enjoyable.

Congratulations once again to all 3 of you and thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us today!