Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

03-06-07

Contacts:

Ron Ackerman, College of Business, (515) 294-2585, rjacker@iastate.edu

Mike Crum, College of Business, (515) 294-2422, mcrum@iastate.edu

Michael Conger, Iowa State student, (515) 708-3594, mconger@iastate.edu

Dan Kuester, News Service, (515) 294-0704, kuester@iastate.edu

For ISU, Big 12 tournament weekend is all business

AMES, Iowa - When this ISU team heads to the University of Oklahoma for the Big 12 Tournament Mar. 9 - 11, it won't be thinking about sports.

That's because the team is from the College of Business and is competing in the Final Four Big 12 MBA Case Competition.

Case competitions give students roles as management consultants. They must analyze a business situation for a panel of judges who act as the company's management board.

The four students who make up the Iowa State team, all in the MBA program, qualified for the meet by placing in the two top teams at a Big 12 North competition held in Ames last month. The two top teams weren't ranked as first or second.

The team includes Michael Conger, Ames; Elizabeth Hattery, Nevada; Doug Van Werden, Osceola; and Tharangi Ranasinghe, Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka. Two faculty members will accompany the team.

The team's success is due, in large measure, to one factor.

"We are definitely bringing in some strong students here at Iowa State for their MBA degrees," said Ron Ackerman, director of graduate admissions and student services and one of the competition's organizers.

In addition to Iowa State, the University of Colorado qualified from the North and the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University represent the South.

The competition is designed to sharpen the skills of the students, but is also good for the Big 12 conference and the participating schools, now and in the future.

"The primary purposes are to provide an exciting learning and networking opportunity for our students, a vehicle for increased collaboration among the business schools in the conference, and to showcase the business schools of the conference and provide national exposure," said Mike Crum, associate dean for graduate programs at ISU's College of Business.

Exposure is the reason organizers are holding the final round of the case competition at the same time and place as the Big 12 basketball tournament.

During the qualifying competition in Ames last month, Iowa State's Michael Conger was honored as the best overall presenter. Judges said that he was able to connect with the audience. Conger hopes he can do the same in the championship round.

"I hope the judges will feel the same sense of connection when my teammates and I speak at the Big 12 competition," Conger said. "I'd be very honored to win the best presenter award again. But really, if I can simply do my best to present some interesting ideas, I'll be happy."

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Quick look

Four ISU students head to the University of Oklahoma to compete in the Final Four Big 12 MBA Case Competition March 9-11.