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Vanderbilt Business Healthcare Association Hosts Inaugural Case Competition

Mar 4, 2022
Student organization partners with Humana for internal healthcare case competition

By Lacie Blankenship

In November 2021, the Vanderbilt Business Healthcare Association (VBHA) hosted the inaugural VBHA Case Competition and is currently making plans for its return later this year. 

Inspired by VBHA President Nora Sultan’s (MBA’22) background in nursing and desire for an accessible healthcare case competition, the VBHA Board (Caitlin Chin, Alex Blackman, Ben Vertz, Emma McNeil, and Rachel Johnson) saw an opportunity to make a lasting impact at Vanderbilt Business.  

Vanderbilt Business Healthcare Association President, Nora Sultan

Nora Sultan

“Our goal with the Vanderbilt Business Healthcare Association Case Competition was to create a recurring learning experience and safe space for MBA students to try a healthcare-related case competition so that they could then go out and feel confident at other case competitions,” says Sultan.  

Participants received the case a week before the in-person presentations. Six teams participated in the November event.

The VBHA Board spent several months planning the competition and secured a fundamental partnership with Humana, which included opportunities for networking that led to interview opportunities.

“After the competition had concluded, we had lunch where everyone could mingle, and then later that day, Humana conducted interviews for nearly two-thirds of the competition participants,” says Sultan.

The VBHA plans to foster the relationship with Humana and hopes to have their same involvement for years to come. 

The 2021 competition focused on Doctor on Demand (DOD) and the rapid growth and diversification in the telehealth marketplace. Participants offered recommendations on growth strategies to continue profitability and strategies to differentiate DOD from its competition. 

Hill Ferguson, the CEO of Doctor on Demand, is an Owen alum, and he was among the judge panelists, so it was great to meet him and have him choose to participate in our case competition,” says Sultan. 

Other judges included Humana employees and Rangaraj (Ranga) Ramanujam, Richard M. and Betty Ruth Miller Professor of Management and Professor of Health Policy. Participating teams had a chance at cash prizes worth $8,000, $4,000, and $2,000. 

“I was so happy to create something that didn’t exist and to see how much students grew in less than 5 hours,” says Sultan. “Seeing how confident everyone was even if they didn’t place was really empowering.” 

“I think the VBHA Case Competition is a really cool experience because Vanderbilt to me, has such a strong healthcare, specialization, and concentration,” added Sultan. “It was a no-brainer that we should have a case competition, and I can’t wait to see how the competition grows with time.”

The 2022 VBHA Case Competition will be held in early November, and registration will begin in October; the competition will be open exclusively to Vanderbilt MBA students. To stay up to date on VBHA opportunities, request to join the VBHA LinkedIn Group

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