Team Diversity Takes the Trophy

PROVO, Utah – Mar 15, 2017 – An economics major, a math major, a strategy major, a psychology major, and a human resource major may not have a lot in common—except when it comes to winning.

The five classmates took first place in the Society of Human Resource Management Case Competition, winning funds to help future BYU teams compete at similar events.  

While most teams relied on only HR majors, the diversity of the BYU squad provided an advantage against fellow competitors from Weber State, Utah State, and Utah Valley University.

“I have a strong passion for diversity,” says team lead and HR major, Erin Hildebrandt. “Having a team of different majors is what helped us come out with a win. Each team member had a different background that brought something to the case to help support our solutions. Without their thinking, we wouldn’t have won.”

One month ago, BYU SHRM president Naoto Suzuki picked Hildebrandt to be the team lead for the competition and asked her to choose the rest of the team. Based off applicant résumés, Hildebrandt chose math junior Jacob Valentine, economics junior Codi Peterson, strategy sophomore Ella Madsen, and psychology senior Stefan Chase.

Each team member contributed his or her specialty to solve the problem. The team was given the role of HR consultants and asked to provide solutions to current HR issues within growing companies. The group had less than four days to come up with answers in the form of a two-page executive summary and slides.

“I believe that the analytical and scientific side of psychology can add a lot to solving HR problems, which is what I was able to do in this competition,” Chase says.

BYU SHRM hosted the competition at the Marriott School of Management. Teams presented twice in front of two different panels of judges who acted as a mock company’s board of directors. Each presentation was fifteen minutes, followed by five minutes of Q&A from the judges.

“It was the perfect balance of fun and hard work,” Peterson says. “The overall competition was an amazing example of how different points of view can complement each other to form great ideas.”

From left to right: Jacob Valentine, Erin Hildebrandt, Stefan Chase, Ella Madsen, and Codi Peterson.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Heidi Zundel