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Wharton MBA Team Wins National Business Case Competition

Every year, the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) National Business Case Competition challenges students from the top graduate schools in the nation to offer a solution to an oil and gas industry challenge. Sponsored and hosted by Exxon Mobil, the competition offers a $35,000 cash award to the winner and an invitation to The Executive Leadership Council’s Annual Recognition Gala.

This year, the challenge focused on attracting and retaining millennial and Generation Z employees. And on April 9, 2019, a Wharton team—Mino Consultants—composed of four first-year MBA students took home first place. When asked about their win, Angie Gonzalez, Kaila Squires, Mallory Smith,  and team captain Oluwayimika (Yinka) Taiwo-Peters, said it was due to teamwork and resources from Wharton.

Wharton Resources

(Left to right) Team members Angie Gonzalez, Yinka Taiwo-Peters, Mallory Smith, and Kaila Squires.

The all-female Mino Consultants could not have won the ELC Competition without many valuable resources from Wharton. Those resources included:

  1. Affinity-Based Programs

Although before starting their MBA program at Wharton the four team members had not met, they quickly got to know each other through Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a pre-MBA program that helps African American, Latino, and Native American students make the most of their experience. The four met soon after arriving at Wharton and being selected as Toigo Fellows. This connection was invaluable throughout the competition.

  1. Faculty and Classes

Mino Consultants also benefited from their classwork and professors. As Yinka said, “This was one of the standout opportunities when I have really leveraged a professor.” The team reached out to Professor Peter Cappelli for his insights on recruiting and retention and utilized MGMT 612 the Human Capital Management module for insight.

  1. Peer and Alumni Network

Their Wharton classmates were also a big help. Angie said, “They reviewed our content and helped us to be concise. Plus, they helped us think through ROI and different metrics.” They also spoke to fellow students in the oil and gas industry to add to their compelling narrative.

  1. Personal Perspective

Last, but certainly not least, the team relied on each other. Each member came from a unique and diverse personal background and various career experiences, which helped them create a more well-rounded case.

“Despite us not having worked in oil and gas, we were able to reflect on our experiences in the workplace as millennials from different industries like tech and financial services, and really highlight the things that we thought helped us while we were there and things that didn’t,” Yinka said.

Read about what’s next for the team and get more insight into the competition here.

Posted in: MBA Feature, MBA News, News

Schools: UPenn / Wharton

About the Author


Kelly Vo  

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and topics related to personal development. She has been working in the MBA space for the past four years in research, interview, and writing roles.

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