SDSU 2021: Sunshine, San Diego, and a Win for Foster!

This fall, four Foster Undergraduates (Andrew Kim, Natalia Villamil, Medha Sindiri, and Josephine Beaudoin) and their faculty advisor (Christina Nichols) had a chance to soak up some sun at the 2021 SDSU International Case Competition. The team, which had been training together throughout Summer Break, ultimately brought back the first-place trophy, in addition to a little sunshine. 

UW Foster Team winning 1st Place 


The case itself was a 24-hour case on EMMA Safety Footwear, a safety shoe company considering adapting to a more sustainable circular business model. While the competition was intense, with 7 business schools in attendance, the detailed and original solution developed by the Foster School team propelled them to the top of the podium. Outside of the competition itself, the students had a chance to network with business students from around the country, take in the San Diego scenery, and apply their learnings from the classroom in a real-world setting. We would like to give a huge thanks to SDSU for hosting an incredibly well-run competition, with fierce competition and engaged judges. Read on to hear more from some of the students below: 


Andrew Kim | Senior: “Having the opportunity to represent the University of Washington and the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the SDSU International Case Competition was a one-of-a-kind experience. After a whole year of COVID-19 and its respective implications, having the chance to speak face-to-face with judges and other students was such a life-giving and rejuvenating opportunity. Taking part in this competition reminded me why I was passionate about pursuing a career in the consulting industry

From ideation to completion of our case, it was a privilege to collaborate and work with my teammates to share a recommendation that the case company can go forward and potentially implement in the future. In fact, our team was able to share the winning recommendation at SDSU this year! I am sincerely grateful to the Global Business Center for providing this opportunity for me. I would recommend this experience to anyone in the future!” 


Josephine Beaudoin | Junior: Having the opportunity to represent Foster in the 2021 SDSU Case Competition was one of the most impactful experiences of my time at the University of Washington so far! Being able to connect with students and faculty from universities all around the nation felt so refreshing after a year of virtual learning. This competition consisted of one 24-hour case analysis period, followed by two rounds of presentations the next day to a live audience and judges. Although exhausting, the competition was both interesting and fun. My team and I were able to learn so much about the intersections of sustainability and international business, especially its real-world applications. Beyond the competition, the experience of being in San Diego was amazing. My team and I got to explore, bond, and try some of the best tacos we’ve ever had (courtesy of the Rockin’ Baja Lobster Coastal Cantina). I am so grateful to the UW Global Business Center for providing us with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and to SDSU for hosting the competition.” 


Natalia Villamil | Senior: “Representing the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business in the 2021 SDSU International Case Competition was an invaluable experience. Despite competing amidst all the chaos that occurred in the initial weeks of the first in-person quarter. The competition was highly rewarding and worth each late-night practice session. In collaboration with my team, we generated a bold strategy to help PPE company EMMA market, sell, and scale the positive impacts of a fully circular safety shoe. As someone who hopes to make a positive impact in their future career; tackling a sustainability-focused charge was especially exciting. Furthermore, it was inspiring to see students from around the country be equally passionate about developing innovative yet sustainable solutions.  

As an underclassman, I would always look up to the individuals representing Foster nationally and internationally. After this experience, I have a newfound respect for all these teams since I now understand the teamwork, commitment, and passion required to succeed in these competitions. This opportunity was a highlight of my undergraduate career, and I was lucky to share it with my team and our wonderful advisor. I am thrilled these global case competition opportunities are back, as I am certain they will continue to be a highlight for future Foster students.” 


Click here to learn more about the SDSU International Business Case Competition: 


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