Two First-Place Finishes at the Utah SHRM Case Competition

PROVO, Utah – May 05, 2021 – A victory at the Utah Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Case Competition on 27 March 2021 marked back-to-back wins for undergraduate students from the BYU Marriott School of Business. A BYU Marriott graduate student team also took first place. As students in the human resource management (HRM) program worked to tackle real-life HR problems, their willingness to learn from each other led each team to success.

The undergraduate team included Logan Flinders, a junior from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Garen Steed, a junior from Kingman, Arizona; Rebecca Rasmussen, a junior from Dublin, Ohio; Rachel Simmons, a pre-business student from Granite Falls, Washington; and Talmage Gull, a pre-business student from Draper, Utah. 

Much of the team’s success can be tied to each member’s willingness to support and provide feedback for their fellow teammates. “Throughout the process of preparing our presentation, everyone was open to different ideas and solutions. This contributed to our success because we were all actively working together and lifting each other up,” says Simmons.

The graduate team of students from the BYU Marriott MBA program included Gabriel San Martin and Angel Martinez, both from New York City; Easton Johnston from Stafford, Virginia; Mindy Torbit from Sandy, Utah; Sam Porter from Mesa, Arizona; and Morgan Walker from Gilbert, Arizona.

The competition offered these MBA students an opportunity to explore the field of human resources. “I’m pivoting into HR, and the case competition was a great opportunity to learn about some of the issues HR professionals deal with,” says San Martin. “The competition helped me understand that no matter what I do in the course of my career, I always need to think about how I can positively impact the overall business.”

As part of the MBA students’ presentation preparation, they worked to be open minded to new ideas and perspectives. This mindset helped them find the best possible solution to present to the judges. “One characteristic that was helpful to our team’s success was our willingness to provide feedback for each other's ideas,” says Walker. “We spent time debating possible solutions and walking through various scenarios. That helped us come up with a great solution and prepared us for the Q&A portion of our presentation.”

Classes in the HRM program also prepared students to face the judges’ questions. “BYU Marriott’s HRM faculty include a variety of cases in class, helping students gain confidence in their ability to review a challenging business situation, identify which pieces of information are most critical, generate multiple potential solutions, and ultimately select the best solution for a given circumstance,” says Cody Reeves, assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources who is the SHRM club advisor. “These skills are invaluable for both case competitions and future professional roles”

While the experience of learning valuable HR lessons from their participation was meaningful, winning made the experience that much sweeter for the students. “Participating in a case competition is a huge time commitment, but our victory made the whole week of work and preparation worth it. I am grateful for the experience and everything I learned,” says Walker. “I grew a lot in one week, and winning was the icing on the cake.”

The participants were also proud that they had represented BYU Marriott well with their performance. “When we won, I was ecstatic and proud of our team,” says Flinders. “I was proud to represent BYU and BYU Marriott as a leader in human resources and showcase the excellence found at BYU Marriott to other universities.”

The undergraduate SHRM team celebrates their win via Zoom
A BYU Marriott undergraduate team won first place at the Utah SHRM Case Competition. Photo courtesy of Rachel Simmons.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kenna Pierce