CIBER Case Challenge FAQ

If you have a question that is not addressed here, please contact us.

What is the Agenda for the full competition?

What is the composition of each team?

Each team will be comprised of four, currently enrolled, business students working on their first university degree (undergraduates). No alternates are permitted. Each of the four members of the team must be degree seeking undergraduate students registered within the business school at the university they are from, and each student will be representing a different specific function in the following areas : Finance/Accounting, Marketing, Management/International Business, and Operations/IT. Students are only permitted to participate as a team member in the CIBER Case Challenge one time.

Students from different universities will be mixed and formed into an entirely new team for the competition. Each 4-student team will have at least one student from an international business school and three students from different U.S. schools. Students will be connected prior to the competition through web groups arranged by the CIBER Case Challenge Management Team.

What is the length and nature of the case that will be analyzed?

The nature of the case that will be used, and the particular business issues involved, will be kept secret until competition packets are distributed on Thursday evening. The case may address multiple geographical regions and multiple functional areas.

To prepare for the competition teams may want to practice analyzing other business cases such as those published by Harvard Business School. These are copyrighted and can be purchased from Harvard Business School Publishing. Similar business case studies may be available from other websites or within your own university.

How will the CASE PACKETS be distributed?

On Thursday evening, each team will receive a CASE PACKET. The Packet will contain the case, instructions on how to save the final presentation and documents on their “USB” drives and some office supplies.

What’s the technology set up for the competition?

Computers, copiers and printers will be available in the “Board Room” in the School of Business. The Board Room will be available to all teams on the preparation days from after dinner Thursday until 10:30 p.m. and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. through 7:30 a.m the following morning. Make sure you print out all needed materials including Final round materials within the Board room during open hours. Computers and LCD projectors will be available in competition rooms and practice rooms on the day of competition. Printer/copiers and other equipment will be made available to teams for case preparation. Software used will be Windows. PowerPoint may be used during presentations.

Although office supplies will be provided for participants, teams may want to bring a limited supply of their own materials (pens, paper, tape, etc.)

All teams must bring their own laptop computer(s) to be used during the preparation of their case presentation, as students will use personal laptops for case preparation. UConn will not provide a loaner laptop to any student. Instructions on how to save your files and presentation for the CHALLENGE and a USB drive will be inside the CASE PACKET that you will pick up on Friday morning at breakfast.

How many faculty advisors are there for each team? What is their function?

We permit one advisor per team, food and activity expenses are included however hotel costs and transportation for advisors are not included in the co-sponsorship fee. Advisors are invited to participate in many of the activities held during the competition, including the activities on Thursday, and the other social events. Advisors are not allowed to assist in case analysis or to be in contact with their teams after the case packets are distributed on Friday. Some activities for advisors may be specifically planned for them during case preparation on Friday.

Faculty advisors will be permitted to observe their own team members’ presentations. Attendance at the final round is mandatory for all teams and advisors.

Can teams use other consultants during case competition?

No. Teams are expected to produce original work solely attributable to the four members. Teams may not consult with advisors, other faculty, staff, team hosts, other students, or any other non-team members during preparation of the case analysis or on the day of competition. Student are welcome to use books, internet web page information, or any other non-human resource to gather information.

Any other helpful hints in regard to case preparation?

It is always an advantage to be educated about current world issues. Teams should become familiar with conducting online searches for relevant information and sources. Teams will have access to UConn’s Homer Babbidge library and any other online databases.

How will Competition Day be managed?

On Saturday morning, teams will draw for CHALLENGE room assignments and order. Four teams will present in each room. One team from each room will advance from the preliminary round of competition to the final round. Each competition room will have a designated “Practice Room”. These rooms will be available to each team 45-minutes prior to their CHALLENGE presentation.

Each presentation will include five minutes for set up, 20 minutes for presentation, followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session (with a panel of judges). Teams must leave the room immediately after they have finished the Q and A session. This format will be repeated in the afternoon for the final round of competition. For the morning sessions there will be 3-4 judges in each room, comprised of corporate judges. In the afternoon, the panel will be comprised of 3-4 corporate judges.

Teams may present their case analysis using Power Point. Teams should always be prepared for the unexpected and have a back-up plan, i.e. if the laptop fails, you may want to have alternate plans.

When preparing the Power Point presentation, teams should choose fonts carefully to ensure that all slides will show equally well on different computers (use common font styles). If teams use unusual fonts or graphics, the font should be burned onto the presentation ’thumb’ drive so that it can be loaded onto the presentation computer during your team’s preparation time (five minutes).

Team members should wear attire typical to a formal business presentation.

We highly recommend that the presentation of the case solution include all team members, and be as “balanced” as possible. Teams should work to capitalize on the strengths of each individual team member!

How will the judging work?

Judging will be “blind”, meaning our judges will not be told and should not be led by the team to know which school each student represents. Teams should not include any graphics or words in the presentation that would identify your school, state, or country, and clothing should be neutral in color and not school-oriented in any way.

Teams should be prepared for questions from the judges. The judges may opt to assume roles during the Q&A — for example, board members, firm officers, executives, etc.

Judges in the morning, preliminary rounds will be different than the judges in the afternoon, final round of competition.

Will we receive feedback about our presentation?

All presentations will be videotaped and distributed to teams after the competition. Each university will receive the footage of the final competition, their own presentation, as well as that of the other teams in their preliminary round competition room, for comparison and learning purposes. No additional video or audio recording of presentations will be permitted, and photos may not be taken during the presentation.

Some of the Judges from the preliminary round of competition will be available after the lunch on Saturday for personal feedback.