New England Tech Students Receive Recognition at International Student Business Competition

Three students from New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) competed in the case study competition at the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) International Business Conference in Orlando, Florida recently – where two of the team members were recognized as “outstanding students.”

Over 30 U.S. and international business schools were invited to participate in the competition. The format for the competition was a 15-minute presentation with 10-minute Q&A. While most teams had several weeks to prepare the case and develop their solutions, New England Tech was only recently recognized as an official chapter of the Society in late March and its team had only a week and a half of preparation time before this competition.

“There were a lot of late nights and Domino’s orders,” said Brandon Verfurth ’17. “We thrived under the pressure and ended up with a really innovative solution. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when the clock is ticking faster than you’d like it to.”

This year’s case focused on Facebook, the global online social media and social networking service. The case asked teams to predict the needs of Facebook considering the rise of recent technology that is blocking advertising and impacting Facebook’s profitability. Teams could recommend adaptations of Facebook existing platforms, suggest a new product offering, pitch a merger/acquisition, or come up with any other ideas.

Alex Mathieu ‘17, explained the team’s solution. “We argued that blocking technology would always be at the same level, or one step ahead of Facebook. We looked at changing Facebook’s core business model,” he said. “We suggested a “premium” Facebook application that people would pay $1.00 a month. With recent developments in machine learning and strong expectations for future growth, we recommended that Facebook makes investments in machine learning now; so that it is the leader in predictive analytics software.”

Ally Dolan ’17, continued: “We learned a lot from the other teams especially how they approached the case. We thought we had a creative solution, but other teams looked at corporate leveraging and buyouts. It was amazing.”

While New England Tech did not place in the top three, Alex Mathieu ‘17 and Ally Dolan ’17 won Regional Outstanding Student Awards. The Regional Outstanding Student Awards are designed to recognize the outstanding academic, extracurricular, and professional achievements of SAM students. In addition to winning her regional award, Ally Dolan ’17 was also chosen as National Outstanding Student. The National Outstanding Award is selected by the Society for Advancement of Management’s Board of Directors from among the regional winners.

“These students have demonstrated a commitment to management excellence through practice and personal merit,” said faculty advisor Professor Hank Johnson. “Their accomplishments demonstrate the precepts of the Society and their general character. As the first President of the New England Tech SAM chapter, Ally worked so hard to build the chapter and overcome each challenge with poise and professionalism. She graduates leaving behind one of the strongest SAM chapters in the United States because of her leadership. For her to be recognized nationally is a huge honor and very well deserved.”

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