Representing UW at USC’s Marshall International Case Competition

UW’s Marshall International Case Competition Team (l-r): Lily Marra, Alyssa White, Dennis Wong, and Cody Ng.

On February 25, 2017, four University of Washington students (Cody Ng, Lily Marra, Alyssa White, and Dennis Wong), from the Foster School of Business, competed against 15 international teams at the Marshall International Case Competition (MICC). This competition, hosted by the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, marked the return of MICC to the international case competition world after a three year hiatus. While the UW team did not advance to the final round, through the experience they gained a greater understanding of international business and formed strong bonds with their peers from around the world. Below are reactions provided by a few of the student participants:

The team proved to be incredibly photogenic in addition to their case solving skills.

“One of my favorite elements of global case competitions is that you have the opportunity to meet people from all around the world. To learn, compete, and have fun with people from China, Denmark, Australia, and many more countries is truly an invaluable experience to globally-minded students that is very hard to obtain through other activities in college. I had the opportunity to explore Santa Monica with students who had never travelled to the U.S. before, visit Universal Studios Citywalk with people who had only seen it in movies, and compete against others who utilized unique forms of presentation styles. Having studied abroad last quarter in Beijing, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with and getting to know the team from Tsinghua University (Beijing); our conversations allowed me to relive some of my fondest memories of Beijing and China’s food/culture. All in all, the USC Marshall International Case Competition was an amazing experience in one of my favorite cities in the world.” – Cody Ng ’18

“‘Excuse me?’, I asked, hesitantly. ‘Can I have your business card?’

‘Um…. sure,’ replied a woman who doubtless wondered if she was on a lame ‘prank’ YouTube channel.

Quickly taking the card, I called over my shoulder, ‘Thanks, call me maybe!’, with an Oscar-worthy false confidence.

Blushing brighter than the Santa Monica sun, I wondered what I had signed up for.  As it turns out, competing in the USC Marshall International Case Competition entails much, much more than a scavenger hunt on the beach and “challenges” attempting to embarrass college students with filmed re-enactments of Carly Rae Jepson’s 2012 hit single “Call Me Maybe”.  It also consisted of mechanical bull riding at Universal Studios (shout out to Coach Angela, the reigning champ), and most importantly, the opportunity to make new friends from all over the world as well as 24 hours of intense competition against some of the world’s best.  Amid USC’s gracious hospitality, playing tourist in LA, and traditions like the school t-shirt exchange (Go Tar Heels!), teams analyzed a case on Intuit and the future of finance until our heads spun.  At least for us, we became so sick of “cashless transactions”, the future “gig economy” and “disruptive fintech” that we were ready to go back to bartering for goods and services.  Nevertheless, MICC was a unique opportunity that challenged our abilities, allowed us to learn from our peers, and created lasting bonds with an incredibly talented field of competitors.  As a graduating senior, MICC was definitely a highlight of my time at Foster, made possible by our lovely coach and the Global Business Center.

Sadly, she never called me. :(” – Dennis Wong ’17

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