Graduate business students get ready to compete on the slopes of Breckenridge.
The University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business is focused on experiential learning.
Students are expected to have three to five years of business experience before they enter DU’s full-time MBA program so Daniels’ works with local and regional companies to teach its students by experience in the real business world. One way they do that is a program called “Race Case” that combines creating a solution to a real business problem with a ski race that was held March 1 and 2.
Team presents its solution to Western Union business case to judges. Photos by Freda Miklin
Eleven teams of top graduate students designed a comprehensive solution to a real business challenge facing Western Union, headquartered in Denver’s Belleview Station. Teams of four students including both men and women presented their proposals to a group of judges and answered questions about their ideas on the first day of the competition.
On the second day, the teams competed in a ski race in Breckenridge, though the ski race only counted for 10 percent of each team’s total score. The challenge that the students were asked to solve was, “How can Western Union leverage its assets and expertise to capture new revenue streams?” Western Union awarded first, second and third place prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000.
Georgia Tech skiers showed their team pride.Photo courtesy of Western Union.
The teams that participated were from American University, the University of Chicago, the University of Florida, Georgia Tech, the University of Alabama, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of West Virginia, Arizona State University, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Vilnius (Lithuania) and the University of Denver.
Patrick Orr, director of global experiential operations for DUs MBA programs, sees programs like Race Case directly addressing Daniels’ philosophy about its students: “Get them to the marketplace quickly to experience the real world.”
Kamile Katkauskyte, who is studying business, law and economics, is one of the members of the Vilnius University team. She is with professor Dr. Dalius Serafinas, member of the board of council and president of the Lithuanian Quality Management and Innovation group.
Tyler McPherson-Wiman, Western Union’s head of strategy and innovation, sees Race Case as a way to focus on what’s next for Western Union. WU is working with start-ups to access new ideas. Similarly, a program like Race Case introduces graduate students to Western Union and builds a relationship with DU to create a path for potential future employees, a benefit to both entities.
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