Approximately 650 business students demonstrated their skills and delivered presentations to a panel of judges during the annual Capstone Case Competition. Undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Business Administration are required to take the Capstone Course prior to graduation. As part of the course, students form teams and compete among their peers during an intense business competition. The teams are considered “consulting firms” and are charged with performing strategic analysis and making strategic recommendations for a real firm in real-time.

“The Great Capstone Competition is the culminating event for this class, and for most students, their culminating experience in the UCF College of Business Administration,” said Marshall Schminke, BB&T Professor of Business Ethics in the management department.

This semester, the focal firm was Research in Motion, the company that manufactures the BlackBerry. The team named “B&G Consulting” were the winners of the Spring 2009 semester. Team members included: Bridget Biederman, Chris Demery, Oren Klein, Jessica Mardones and Whitney Scott. Their lab instructor was Manuela Priesemuth.

Presentations were 15 minutes long and the top 18 groups were selected to compete in the semifinals. After the semifinals, the top five teams advanced to the final competition. Four distinguished business leaders served as judges for the final event. Three of the judges, Andrew Fore, ’76 and ’83; Bob Case, ’70; and Paul Gregg, ’74 and ’76, are graduates of the college, serve on the Dean’s Executive Council and have all been inducted into the CBA Hall of Fame. The fourth judge was Brad Winters from the Wall Street Journal.

All teams that made it to the finals received prizes. Each individual received a personalized letter of congratulations from the Wall Street Journal, as well as a business folio. The top two teams received dinner gift certificates, and members of the winning team earned a perfect score for their final exam. But according to Schminke, “The biggest prize of all is the opportunity to compete at this level against other very talented students, in front of a series of tough judges!”