May 16: MBA students participate in live case study with PepsiCo
Approximately 30 MBA students recently completed their program with help from one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies - PepsiCo. Working in seven teams of four over the span of five days, students used everything they learned during their program to respond to a mandate presented by the company. The reward for the best recommendations? An all-expenses-paid trip to Dallas, Texas for an NFL game in the PepsiCo box.
But this was not a typical competition. According to Professor Sylvain Charlebois it required a combination co-operation and competition, something he calls “co-opertition.” “Co-opertition drives students to compete against each other while helping each other out, which is really reflective of what businesses need today,” says Charlebois. “All companies face similar challenges and while they must compete against each other, they also have to work in co-operation with each other.”
While working on the case study, students attended regular classes but retreated to their war rooms in the evenings to prepare for the boardroom where they pitched their final recommendations to PepsiCo executives. Teams were given 20 minutes to present their cases followed by a Q&A.
“The live case study allowed students to better understand businesses other than their own, utilize and apply the knowledge they accumulated throughout their program and network with business executives,” says Charlebois. “I’m still getting emails about it. We really ended their MBA on a high note.”
Photo by: Jennifer Lewington