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BYU Marriott Hosts Second Annual Faith at Work Competition

Sixteen interfaith teams of MBA students from across the country gathered in February to participate in the second annual Faith and Belief at Work Case Competition at the BYU Marriott School of Business. Participants addressed how businesses can encourage employees to bring their whole selves to the workplace.

“Research shows that work satisfaction, happiness, and drive are affected by your ability to bring your whole self to work, including spirituality,” explains Ben Williams, an MBA student from Mesa, Arizona, and co-organizer of the event.

The competition was hosted by the BYU Marriott MBA program in partnership with the BYU Wheatley Institute and a diverse group of sponsoring organizations, including Equinix, Allymar, Interfaith America, Accenture, PayPal, and the BYU Sorensen Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership. Since last year the competition has grown to include five more teams and 20 more participants.

Man standing up at a podium speaking to a room full of people seated at dining tables.
The Faith and Belief at Work Case Competition lasted three days in February 2024.
Photo courtesy of the BYU Marriott MBA program.

Student teams were tasked to assume the role of plant manager for a fictious company and create a strategy to increase the wellness, morale, productivity, and profitability of employees by bringing faith and belief into the workplace. Students were also asked questions from the judges on how the interfaith initiatives could drive the company to accomplish their business goals.

The 64 student participants represented a variety of faiths, including Christianity, Scientology, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and more. The case competition spanned three days and culminated with the final team presenting its case for all participants and judges.

A representative from Equinix, lead sponsor of the event, Weslie Ricks, believes that the diverse religious beliefs fostered a sense of creativity and inclusivity. “It was a beautiful experience to show up as an agnostic woman and connect with such a diverse group. We found a lot of common ground in three days, and I left inspired by the students,” Ricks says.

Not only did the competition’s theme emphasize belonging in the workplace but the event also created a safe space that nurtured mutual understanding. “I was able to see people from all walks of life find common ground and become friends,” Williams says. “There’s a fundamental need for people to be understood, and when you understand each other, you’re able to build a bond. And when you build a bond, you're able to work better together.”

The BYU Marriott School of Business aspires to transform the world through Christlike leadership by developing leaders of faith, intellect, and character. Named for benefactors J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott, the school is located at Brigham Young University. BYU Marriott has four graduate and nine undergraduate programs with an enrollment of approximately 3,800 students.


Written by Kacee Call