IBESCC Student Case Study Competition

One example of a real-world learning experience that challenges students to put knowledge into action is the IBESCC Student Case Study Competition. Students tackle complex business issues and analyze organizations’ management styles, decision-making, legal and regulatory issues, and ethics. “It is a great learning experience because it allows students to apply all of their knowledge, analyze issues and present their findings and recommendations,” Professor Christine Cahill says. 

St. Thomas Aquinas College has participated in case study competitions for the past several years, earning as high as 1st place last year and in 2022, and 1st place in a similar competition in 2016.

Past student participants have noted that this is a valuable opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom in a different way, that participation strengthens their ability to work well in groups and overcome the challenges associated with groups, and helped to improve public speaking capabilities and presentation skills. Some of our past team members have gone on to highly successful careers at locations such as Ernst & Young, PWC, KPMG, BMW, Ogilvy UK, Capgemini,  and the Office of New York State Attorney General. This experience bolsters a student’s resume, provides them with opportunities to network, and generally elevates the profile of the School of Business and the College. 

This year, our team consists of six excellent students, who earned a spot on the team based on professor recommendations, GPA and an application essay. We strive to fundraise for the competition so that any student can participate and compete, regardless of financial ability. An estimated budget for St. Thomas Aquinas College participation in person totals approximately $10,000. Any financial support would go directly to reduce student costs (which would total about $2,400 per student), and would be greatly appreciated.

The 2024 team:

Hanna Jung: “Participating in the IBESCC Business and Sustainability Case Study Competition allows me to deepen my understanding of the relationship between business practices and environmental responsibility while equipping me with practical insights crucial for today’s corporate landscape. This competition benefits me in sharpening my teamwork and problem-solving skills, as I collaborate with my fellow Spartans to develop innovative solutions to real-world sustainability challenges.”

Tricia Possell: “The IBESCC challenge is such a unique and immersive opportunity. It truly allows us to utilize what we’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real world issues. An experience like this truly prepares us to adapt and succeed in the workforce.”

Andrew Alameda: “I am a chaser of opportunities that are capable of allowing me to grow as an individual, refining my problem solving skills, collaborative abilities, and adaptability.”

Julia Abreu: “My journey here as a Spartan has been an incredible experience. I love being a management major. I love all the courses I’ve taken and all the knowledge I’ve gained from them. It is amazing to be a part of the case study and use that prior knowledge to create a plan of action.”

Gino Gandzior:  “The IBESCC challenge perfectly aligns with my long-term career goals and fills in a gap that I believe more experience will help me succeed in my goals. For me making a positive impact in the challenge we all fight called climate change is substantial. A case study competition focusing on social and environmental problems … focuses on exactly that, analyzing a problem thoroughly and finding a creative solution. In my eyes this is the closest to real work you can get in the classroom.”

Natalie Oden: “The case study gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge within sustainability and also develop my critical thinking skills. From playing sports my whole life, I grew to love competitions and a good challenge and this competition is exactly that.”