Composition of Teams
Teams are made up of 3-4 matriculated undergraduate students who are enrolled at their schools as of the date of the competition.
The deadline to request an invitation for your undergraduate team to participate is November 1, 2018. We will issue offical invitations by December 1, 2018. We have capacity to accomodate 20 teams (Approximately 12 U.S. schools and 8 international schools). We will start a wait-list when these numbers have been reached. Wait-listed schools will be notified by January 15, 2019. Because of this, early expression of interest is important.
Teams from non-US schools will be responsible for air transportation. The Milgard School of Business, through the generosity of our sponsors will cover all local costs, including:
- Local transportation to and from the airport
- Hotel accommodations (3 rooms per night for Wed, Thurs, Fri)
- All meals while here, except for Friday evening trip to Seattle when students are on their own.
Because of this offering and US Government regulations around taxes on student awards, these students will not be eligible for the cash prize pool offered for U.S.-based school teams.
The competition will have four pools of five teams (planned) in the preliminary round, with one team advancing from each pool. The prized for the winning teams (U.S. teams only) are as follows:
- 1st place - $1,000 per participant
- 2nd place - $500 per participant
- 3rd place - $250 per participant
- 4th place - $125 per participant
- This competition is designed to have minimal impact on students' academic schedule due to travel
- Cases will be delivered electronically to teams one week prior to the competition (2/22/19 at 8:00 a.m. teams' local time)
- Teams will have 72 hours to review the case and develop their recommendation and presentation
- Presentations and supplemental materials for judges are due electronically at 8:00 teams' local time on Monday morning (2/25/19)
- Teams travel to Tacoma at their convenience and present on Friday (3/1/19)
- Teams will have 15 minutes to make their presentation
- Judges will have 10 minutes for Q&A with the team
- Judges will then have 10 minutes to provide feedback to each team (preliminary round only)
- Preliminary round presentations will be in four groups (A, B, C, D). Upon receipt of the electronic presentations, CLSR staff will review the presentations and assign a rank order based on the quality of the presentation's conclusions and recommendations. Teams will be assigned presentation rooms based on this preliminary ranking, and assigned a random presentation order. The goal of a seeded competition is for the best teams to compete in the final round rather than the preliminary round. The preliminary ranking is confidential and will not be shared outside of the CLSR staff.
- Preliminary rounds will be closed to other teams. Only the team, the judges, and team's own advisor may be in the room.
- All final round presentations will be video recorded and saved to the online archives after the competition.
- Each room will be equipped with a visual timer and be assigned a timekeeper to ensure that presentations do not exceed their time limit. Teams will be notified when they have 5, 2, and 1 minute remaining. The timekeeper's role includes ensuring that rules are followed by teams, advisors, and judges during the preliminary round.
- Teams should be prepared to make their presentation even in the unlikely event of a technology failure.
- Teams and advisors will refrain from indicating in any way the identity of their home university.
- Once the case has been distributed, teams may not consult on any aspect of the presentation with any person who is not a team member. Advisors are not team members.
- After the case has been turned in electronically, teams may practice their presentations for the purpose of getting feedback from advisors and peers on the delivery of the proposed solution, not on the content. Teams will not be allowed to change the content of their electronic presentation or supplemental materials after they are submitted on Monday morning.
- The advisors' role changes throughout the competition timeline. See the FAQ below for details.
- All team members must participate in the presentation.
- In researching the case and preparing a solution, teams may use electronic and print resources that are considered to be available to the general public.
- During the final round, teams who have not yet presented are not allowed to be in the room for the the earlier presentations.
Rules and Roles for Advisors
Expectations of the advisors' involvement change as the competition timeline progresses.
- Until the Friday before the competition: Advisors give advice and resources for case preparation, CSR, strategy, presentation skills, PPT use, time management, etc.
- Friday - Monday morning of the week before the competition: While students are working on the case from Friday morning until Monday morning, advisors have no contact with their team.
- Monday morning - Competition Day: After student teams have submitted their electronic presentation and supplemental materials on Monday morning, advisors provide feedback to the teams on their presentation styles, such as verbal tics, body language, where to stand, and timing. Coaching should be limited to the presentation skills rather than the content and specifics of the case solution.
- Competition Day on the UW Tacoma campus: Team advisors coach and encourage their team members. Advisors may observe the preliminary round presentation of their own team and may provide additional presentation styles coaching after the preliminary round as teams prepare for the possibility of making it to the final round.
- After the competition: Advisors debrief with teams and explore the lessons learned from the competition.
Advisors will not be permitted to observe the preliminary round presentations of other teams nor to sit in on the judges' deliberations.
We check every presentation to make sure that it works, however a little extra information from you will ensure a smooth presentation during the competition.
- PREZI: If you create your presentation using Prezi, share it with email@example.com. Make sure that settings allow for copies to be created. We will create our own copy and link to that copy on the competition day.
- FONTS: Your PowerPoint presentation should use only Microsoft 2010 Windows fonts. If you’ve used other fonts, we cannot guarantee that your PPT will appear as intended.
- OTHER: Tell a CLSR staff member if your presentation includes video, requires audio, or contains links that require internet access.
- CLICKER: Each competition room will be equipped with a remote for advancing slides, as well as extra batteries.
- HANDOUTS: Handouts for judges must be submitted at the time of the electronic presentation on Monday morning. We will oversee the printing and inclusion in the judges' packets.
We will provide the judges with a copy of your slides for the preliminary round, using the PPT 3-slide notes view. Prezi presentations will be formatted in-house using the same layout. Any supplemental materials must be submitted at the time of the electronic presentation on the Monday before the competition day.
Presentations will be judged according to the following criteria:
- 40 - Quality of Analysis
- Scope and depth of analysis
- Ability to draw valid conclusions from case data and research
- 30 - Quality of Recommendations
- Scope and viability of recommendations as it relates to analysis
- Anticipated impact on the organization and its stakeholders
- Backed up recommendations with documentation and anticipated outcomes
- 15 - Quality of Presentation
- Logical sequence of presentation
- All members participated
- Representation of the case and company values
- 10 - Quality of Q&A
- Understand and respond to questions appropriately
- Demonstrate forethought and preparation for questions
- 5 - Overall Performance
Judge's score sheets will NOT be made available to students after the event. They only serve as a starting point for their judging, not a strict numeric calculation. You will receive 10 minutes of feedback from judges after the preliminary round.
Rules and guidelines can only cover a limited number of scenarios. It is our expectation that every team participating in this case competition will act with the highest sense of integrity, honor, and respect for the spirit of the competition and its competitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the role of the advisor?
A. The advisor's involvement changes as the competition progresses:
- Before the case is distributed, advisors give advice and resources for case preparation, CSR, strategy, presentation skills, PPT use, time management, etc.
- While students are working on the case from Friday morning until Monday morning, advisors have no contact with their team.
- After student teams have submitted their electronic presentation on Monday morning, advisors provide feedback to the teams on their presentation styles, such as verbal tics, body language, where to stand, and timing. Coaching should be limited to the presentation skills rather than the content and specifics of the case solution.
- While on the UW Tacoma campus, team advisors coach and encourage their team members. Advisors may observe the preliminary round presentation of their own team and may provide additional presentation styles coaching after the preliminary round as teams prepare for the possibility of making it to the final round.
Q: Can we visit the case company as part of our case preparation?
A: No. Past cases have covered issues faced by retailers REI, Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom, and self-service kiosk operator Outerwall. Student participants who lived near a retail store or kiosk presence were permitted to visit it. However, because teams are not permitted to communicate with non-team members about the case, visiting a bricks-and-mortar location of the case company does not offer an advantage.
Q: Can we talk with people from the case company about the case? What about their competitors?
A: No. Employee knowledge about company practices, regardless of title or company, is not considered to be publicly available information accessible to all teams. Conversations with company employees are limited to typical customer-company transactions.
Q: Can we get feedback from others about our presentation content?
A: No. Teams may not get input on their presentation's content at any time from any one. The content of the presentation includes the work of the student team members and no one else.
Q: Can we get feedback from others about our presentation delivery?
A: Yes. Teams may request feedback on their delivery of the case solution after they have submitted the final PPT on Monday. Presentation skills advice addresses things like verbal tics, body language, speaking too fast, clothing suggestions, volume, or timing of slides. Advice should not attempt to change the content of slides or the team's proposed solution.
Q: Do we have to stop researching the case when we submit our electronic presentation?
A: Yes. The period for developing your recommendation is comprised of the 72 hours prior to the electronic presentation deadline. The days between the submission deadline and the competition day are to be used to refine your delivery style and travel to the UW Tacoma campus. Keep in mind:
- Your preliminary round assignment will be based on the quality and thoroughness of your recommendation.
- Judges are instructed to make sure that the electronic presentation is aligned with and supported by your verbal presentation.
Q: Where can we see what other teams have done?
A: Check out the archives section of this website (link at upper left) to find the previous cases, videos, and electronic presentations.