BYU Places Second in International MBA Case Competition

PROVO, Utah – Feb 20, 2015 – A team of Brigham Young University MBA students claimed the second-place prize in The Economist’s first-ever International MBA Case Competition which featured 23 business schools from around the world.

“We felt honored to have the chance to represent BYU on in international stage,” says Jorge Montalva, a first-year MBA from Viña del Mar, Chile. “The Economist is a universally well-known and well-respected publication, so we knew that this was an exceptional opportunity to solidify BYU’s standing globally by competing against top schools.”

The teams were tasked with evaluating Zillow’s $3.5 billion acquisition of Trulia, a rival real estate website, and submitting a 15-minute proposal video. This case was unique because it is a current market question, making the team responsible for gathering and analyzing real-time data of a stock-only transaction. 

“None of us are experts on the stock market,” says Brock Burrows, a first-year MBA from Apple Valley, Minn. “This was a chance for us to leverage BYU resources and the amazing knowledge base we have here at the school and bring all that influence together into one presentation.”

The proposals were judged on their ability to tackle the entire case head on and to anticipate counter-arguments. BYU was awarded the second-place prize of $5,000 and the honor of being recognized by The Economist in an international setting.

“It is encouraging and satisfying to me that the students always see case competitions as an opportunity to learn, to represent BYU in a favorable light and to work with their classmates in an environment that you simply can’t simulate,” says John Bingham, BYU MBA program director. “These three students exemplify the BYU MBA brand and all the great things our students are doing here.”

After an internal round where student hopefuls presented a similar case to Marriott school faculty, Steve Mineer, a first-year MBA from Scottsdale, Ariz., was selected alongside Montalva and Burrows as the official BYU team.

The team is already looking forward to competing next year, and is eager to make The Economist International Case Competition a tradition for BYU MBA students.

“It was really exciting to participate,” Burrows says. “We definitely wanted to win first place, but at the end of the day we were really proud of our ability to represent the school in such a public forum.”

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, entrepreneurship, finance, information systems and public management. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Brock Burrows, Steve Mineer and Jorge Montalva were members of the winning team.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Caroline Smith