Our Stories

Learning to Compete through Collaboration

Mai-Linh Hoang learns better how to apply knowledge and work with teams

Mai-Linh Hoang
Supply Chain Consultant, Nisolo
CRM Manager for Lifestages Businesses, Bed Bath & Beyond

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

For some students, case competitions are an activity that enriches their Vanderbilt MBA experience. For Mai-Linh Hoang, they were something even more. In fact, she regards them as central to her business education.

In her first year in the program, Mai-Linh participated in six case competitions (while handling the rigorous academic work and interviews for internships). “(The  competitions) are the best way to apply knowledge learned inside the classroom to a real-world business situation,” says Mai-Linh who came to the U.S. from her native Vietnam when she was 18 years old.

She also notes that the competitions provide an opportunity to work closely with other classmates — and to hone a skill that can be as important to her career as the technical knowledge she adds. “I’ve gained experience working with different classmates that I might not typically work with,” she says, “which also helps me to understand different working styles and how to adjust so the team can function optimally.

“The broader perspective I am gaining here will help me become an effective and empathetic leader. That perspective comes not only from understanding different functions and facets of the business world through the academic program but also from interacting with a diverse group of people – diverse in working styles, backgrounds and skill sets. In that sense, I see my time at Owen consisting of many learning opportunities for me not only to broaden my knowledge but to enhance my ability in working effectively with people.”

Fun Fact: Mai-Linh loves coffee, journaling, documentaries, and reading history and science books.

“Case competitions are the best way to apply knowledge learned inside the classroom to a real-world business situation.”