Four of our MBA students competed in an IACBE (International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education) virtual competition that took place from Nov 4-15. The competitors were Stephanie Caban, Mary Yatcko, Virendra Singh and Barbara Whitaker.
During the competition, these students needed to create a two-page memo in addition to a ten-minute video production of their marketing strategy to assist Munevo, a German company that empowers individuals with disabilities, in the production of one of their products in the U.S. Last week, the Post University Team got the news that they won the competition.
Unlike the other graduate students from Excelsior and Holy Angel University, who could meet on campus to plan strategy, the Post students used technology to develop their program. In addition, our online MBA students lived in different states.
“These schools had a physical campus to work together,” shares Stephanie Caban, Post MBA competitor and chief of staff, the office of deans. “We had a barrier of meeting face-to-face and had to work together completely online.”
The students used Same Page, which is a platform for chatting capabilities. The platform also enabled them to work on the same document simultaneously, since it is updated instantly when changes are made.
Post MBA competitor Barbara Whitaker states, “The Smart Page virtual portal assisted our team in aligning our goals, roles, and responsibilities quickly. We were able to develop a team rhythm rapidly and established a regular rotation of meeting times to work with our teammate Virendra in Germany.”
“There is a lot of trust and transparency among a virtual team because you cannot be present in the same room,” says Post MBA competitor and Team Lead of ADP Admissions Mary Yatcko. “In this competition, we had to be proactive to stay in touch with each other and share all our thoughts, concerns, and ideas.”
The assignment given to all students competing was to market a powered wheelchair called “Munevo Drive” in the U.S. Munevo deploys Google Glasses with each wheelchair. Google Glasses are a wearable computer featuring a head-mounted display in the form of eyeglasses. The glasses function as a hands-free smartphone, letting users use voice commands or body movements – like tilting their heads to steer. The product, being quite popular in Germany, has not been successful in the U.S. Therefore, Munevo presented this real-world problem to schools in the U.S. to see what approaches were constructed, and which team could create the best approach to solving this problem.
The competition was done through webinars and online office-hour sessions with the Munevo leadership team. Since Munevo is a German company, our students had to schedule a meeting as early as 6 a.m. our time to have a Q&A session with the CEO. Keeping in mind, each of these students has full-time jobs in addition to their course work, all whilst competing in this competition.
Though the competition was very challenging, each student at Post said that the MBA program made them feel prepared.
Caban states, “While I have no experience in the medical smart technology industry, what I do have is experience with case studies, creating business strategies and data analysis thanks to courses like Business Strategy and Planning and Analytics for Management. Those courses and the MBA program as a whole allowed me to master the building blocks of strategy and apply it to real-world situations like Munevo Drive with success.”
To top it off, IACBE will be taking the materials created by the Post University MBA team as a follow-up case for competition next spring.