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Vanderbilt Business Team Wins 2024 SEC MBA Case Competition

Apr 24, 2024
For the second year in a row, a team of 4 Vanderbilt MBAs takes home the grand prize after placing first in the annual SEC MBA Case Competition

By Lacie Blankenship

A team of 4 Vanderbilt Business students—Andrew Winter (MBA’25), Monica Traniello (MBA’25), Robert Rickard (MBA’25), and Zach Terry (MBA’25)—secured first place at the 2024 SEC MBA Case Competition

Pictured: Posing with the trophy, the winning team of the 2024 SEC MBA Case Competitionis shown. From left to right: Robert Rickard, Andrew Winter, Monica Traniello, and Zachary Terry.

From left to right: Robert Rickard, Andrew Winter, Monica Traniello, and Zachary Terry

“It’s a great feeling to earn the win and earn it for Vanderbilt,” said Winter. “For Vanderbilt to win these past two years, we have a chance to build from that success and continue to build the Vanderbilt brand.”

2024 SEC MBA Case Competition: The Case

In early April, the College of Business at Mississippi State University hosted the 11th Annual SEC MBA Case Competition. The case study came out of FedEx Corporation; FedEx also sponsored the event. 

“The staff and volunteers at Mississippi State University were so incredibly welcoming, and it was a true pleasure to spend the weekend in Starkville,” said Traniello. “It’s always fun to bring home a win as well. The opportunity to work on one of FedEx’s major business initiatives was very rewarding, and I’m grateful for my stellar teammates.”

Once case information was distributed, the teams had nearly 24 hours to compose their recommendations and prepare for divisional and final presentations. FedEx executives were tasked with watching each presentation and selecting 4 teams to advance to the final rounds. From there, the same executives ranked the final 4 teams, all while student identities and university affiliations were kept anonymous to ensure impartiality. 

The Prize

Pictured: In marquee letters that are white, SEC MBA is spelled out. Above the letters, a balloon display hangs from a ceiling.The first-place prize was $10,000. The University of Florida placed second winning $6,000, the University of Alabama placed third winning $3,000, and the University of Tennessee placed fourth, winning $1,000. In addition to the team award, Rickard was recognized as an individual with the Best Q&A award, securing a $250 prize.

“My favorite aspect of the competition was collaborating with my 3 teammates to tackle a challenging issue facing FedEx,” said Rickard. “Furthermore, I am grateful for the valuable learning experience and was proud to represent Vanderbilt and Owen at the competition.”

The team was selected to represent Vanderbilt Business through an application process facilitated by team advisors, Chris Wszalek, Executive Director, Academic and Student Affairs, Vanderbilt Business, Anand Samuel, Associate Director, Student Life, Vanderbilt Business, Kenzie Karpinski, Program Manager, Student Life, Vanderbilt Business, and Sam Crum, Event Specialist, Vanderbilt Business. 

“The SEC case competition was a wonderful experience. The case from FedEx was interesting, the judges provided thoughtful feedback, and it was enjoyable to meet other MBA students from across the SEC,” said Terry. “Without a doubt though, the highlight was teaming up with Monica, Andrew, and Robert. They’re all incredible talents, so the opportunity to work with, and learn from them was an absolute pleasure.”

2025 SEC MBA Case Competition

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management will have the pleasure of hosting the 2025 SEC MBA Case Competition. More information to come as Vanderbilt Business invites next year’s competing teams to Music City.

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