Cracked That Case

BYU students clinch first place in the Milgard CSR Case Competition

PROVO, Utah – Mar 24, 2017 – Four Brigham Young University students returned from Seattle with a trophy in hand and smiles on their faces after winning first place and $1,000 each in the Milgard Corporate Social Responsibility Case Competition.

Running on little sleep and lots of ideas, Erika Mahterian, Mallory Reese, Camden Robinson, and Thomas Stone spent the seventy-two-hour turnaround working on a complex CSR case for T-Mobile. Their task was to implement the Win-Win model created by Jens Molbek, founder of Coinstar, into a new CSR strategy for T-Mobile that will roll out later this year.

Named one of four finalists from the original sixteen teams, BYU was the first team to give their final presentation in front of all the teams and sixteen judges. Though the team started strong, an error with the timer caused BYU to be cut off at ten minutes instead of fifteen.  After discussion, the five minutes were added back, forcing the team to make adjustments as they resumed.

“I was flustered because I got cut off in the middle of my sentence and in the middle of my slide,” says Robinson, an economics senior from Park City, Utah. “I had to remember where I was in my presentation so I just paused, stepped back, thought for a couple seconds, got my place, stepped back up and continued, and we finished in time.”  

While the disruption could have hurt BYU’s performance, the professionalism the team showed was a strength instead.

“We had a rock-star team,” added Reese, a marketing senior from Las Vegas. “You can have a smart-stacked team, but if you don’t work well together then it doesn’t make a difference.”

After fourth and third place were announced, anxiety ran high as the name of the second-place winner faded in slowly on the screen to reveal USC.

“When they put USC’s name for second-place, we knew we would be first and we just all grabbed each other, hugged, and said, ‘We won!’” says Stone, an economics senior from Denver.

The team received feedback from judges afterward that their idea stood out from the rest because it was realistic, easy to follow, and easy to implement.

“We brought everything back to T-Mobile’s key goal, which is to impact the next generation,” says Mahterian, a finance junior from Los Angeles.   

Darin Gates (team advisor), Mallory Reese, Thomas Stone, Erika Mahterian, and Camden Robinson stand with their trophies after an incredible win.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Tessa Haas