June 22, 2024

Business Students Bring Knowledge, Professionalism to Case Competition

First-place winner Chris Camarota, center, holds the oversized check with award sponsors and judges Craig Schneibolk, left, and Andrew Blate. (Suzanne Carr Rossi photo.)

First-place winner Chris Camarota, center, holds the oversized check with award sponsors and judges Craig Schneibolk, left, and Andrew Blate. (Suzanne Carr Rossi photo.)

The challenge: Take three separate California-based street-sweeping companies and combine them into one new business with the equipment, personnel, contracts and management to succeed despite potential competition from the biggest player in the industry.

That was the “case” posed in the fifth annual Case Competition, a contest in which teams of UMW business students tackle a business problem, consider obstacles and possible solutions, then present their findings orally and via projected slides. It’s a chance for them to use all their accumulated knowledge and skills, deploy their public speaking powers, and think on their feet to answer judges’ questions.

There’s a monetary reward, too – cash prizes totaling $5,000, sponsored by alumnus Andrew Blate ’04 and business partner Craig Schneibolk of the D.C.-area remodeling company Beautiful Home Services. Blate and Schneibolk started an endowed fund that eventually will cover award money for each year’s event, and they also judged this year’s contest along with business alumni Linda Blakemore ’84 and Rob Whitt ’93.

To make it to this year’s Case Competition – held Friday, April 21, 2023, in the Leigh Frackelton Classroom of Woodard Hall as part of UMW’s 17th annual Research and Creativity Symposium – each of five teams had to win a preliminary competition with fellow students in several business classes. The five teams that competed this year were well-prepared, with carefully researched solutions and polished presentations. Read more.