In simple terms, a case competition is an academic competition in which students come together to solve a case that is presented. Students utilize their teamwork, critical thinking, analyzing, and organizational skills to deduce a recommendation that they support in a presentation in front of judges or company sponsors.
Although every case competition varies in time to work the problem and time to present to the judges, here are some "basics" that will help students starting out:
- Generally teams are made up of 4 students from different backgrounds
- Students have anywhere from 4 hours to a week to review the case, research, and present a presentation
- Often, there are cash prizes for winning teams, best presenters, and "executive presence"
- Presentations are generally 10-15 minutes
- In addition to presentations, students also will have a Q&A session with judges that typically lasts for 10-15 minutes
- Students have an opportunity to meet industry professionals
Before participating in a case competition, it is recommended that students educate themselves on the rules of said competition for more specific details.
- Teamwork: Working with a diverse group with a time constraint helps students understand how to work effectively together and resolve interpersonal constraints.
- Analysis: By evaulating questions and information, students learn how to break down problems into their essential components and develop a strategic solution.
- Critical thinking: Diving deep into these cases allows students to engage in a deeper level of thinking as compared to the average class project. Students have the opportunity to stretch their processing abilities.
- Communication: Conveying ideas and concerns to teammates as well as presenting to an audience aids in the growth of confidence and self-expression.
- Organization: A solid foundation is the key to a successful case competition. By practicing organization skills, students reap the benefits of being prepared.
To read more on why case competitions are excellent for student growth, visit the Case Competitions Benefits Page.
Need to Know
- Form a team before signing up for a case.
- Each case has a set time when the case is released and when it has to be turned in, there are no exceptions.
- Prepare to dedicate a reasonable amount of time for case analysis and presentation practice.
- Upcoming cases can be found on the LCS website. However, there are several others on campus outside of Krannert that are hosted by different organizations.
- Some case competitions require more than one round of cases/presentations if the team wins or places.
- Make a plan:
- Timeline of production
- Team roles
- Schedule appropriate working time
- Create a team of diverse students for different approaches to a case
- Don't forget to eat, sleep, and take breaks
- Question everything so you can be prepared for judge's questions and build a more solid recommendation
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time will a case competition take?Every case takes a different amount of time, so check the rules and schedule of each specific case. Case worktime, or the time during which you can work on solving the problem before submission, can be as short as a few hours or as long as a week Total time commitment on the day of the competition, including arrival, presentation, and awards announcement, is roughly 2-6 hours.
Is there a "right answer" for a case?Generally, cases do not have "right" or "wrong" answers as there are multiple ways to look at a single problem. This is your chance to show your creative problem solving skills.
What do judges look for?
Judges look for many things from creativity, recommendation, financials, analysis, quantitative and qualitative measures or presentation style, communication ability, slide deck visuals, and answers to questions. Every judge will have different perspectives and place different weighted values on each aspect of the case.
Can other teams watch my presentation?Generally, other teams or students are not allowed to sit in on first-round presentations but may be allowed to watch second-round presentations if they are held. Watching other people perform when you have a chance is a great way to learn and get feedback.
If my team wins, how do I receive the money?If you are Purdue student in a Purdue-run case competition, money is generally delivered through your MyPurdue Account, but please see the rules of your case for verification.