It was my first case competition and I was invited to be a part of the team along with a few second year MBA students. I was excited about the new challenge that lay ahead of our team.
Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ is quite famous for its pharmaceutical MBA program. Not surprisingly, the case given to the teams was a pharmaceutical case which was about the launch of a new breast cancer drug in uncertain market conditions. The case was handed to us about a week before the date of the competition and Tom Impelletri, Jyotinder Singh and I started working on the case from the word ‘go’.
I was initially stunned by the sheer vastness and the depth of the case but Tom and Jyo clarified certain key points and laid down the platform. This was not one of those cases that you study and come to class for the next day to discuss with your colleagues. This was a 27 page technical case that had ‘pharma’ written all over it – pharmaceutical drugs, industry norms and accepted risk levels. The panel of judges consisted of product and division managers from companies like Bayer and Merck.
On the day of the competition, we drove from State College to Newark and we reached the venue at around 8 AM. Our presentation slot was at 9 AM and we were done by 10 AM with our presentation. We spent the rest of the day in the Business School building by attending information sessions and networking sessions with the executives from the different companies. We were confident that we had given our best and waited for the results to be announced at 5 PM in the evening.
The time was 5 PM and I was a little bit disappointed when the results were announced. We did not make it to the podium. It was a good one week of preparation and practice. I was able to use what I had learned from Corporate Finance, Risk and Marketing subjects and was also able to use the famous SDSR and the ‘three point’ speech for our presentation. All in all, a very good learning experience and I will go back to Rutgers again next year with more preparation and with even better prospects of winning the competition.
-Anand Mohan, PSU Smeal MBA ’15