A team of four FAI concentration MBA students placed first at the 2009 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association World Forum and Symposium held in Budapest, Hungary in June. The students tied for first place with University of Guelph (Canada), beating out other teams from the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Hungary in multiple rounds.
Team members Irene Cermeno MBA ‘11, Michael Enos MBA ‘11, Andrew C.S. Tseng MBA ‘09, and Danielle Wenzel MBA ‘11 were sponsored by the business school’s Food & Agribusiness Institute, and coached by Operations & Management Information Systems Professor Drew Starbird.
The students were judged on their ability to solve a management problem posed in a business case study, as well as the quality of a short oral presentation to the judges, a written executive summary, and their originality and creativity.
"Our graduate students prepare to work in a global business community,” said Starbird, who becomes acting dean of the business school July 1. “The success of our Santa Clara team shows our strength as a truly internationally focused graduate business program.”
In the first round, the Santa Clara team competed with students from Purdue University, Texas A&M, Curtin University (Australia), and others, to analyze a case involving a family-owned Hungarian producer and distributor of bottled soda water. Just four teams moved on to the final round, in which teams analyzed a case involving a Dutch venture that employed people with disabilities in an open space farming operation.
“Because the cases involved real world events with real people and their businesses, it made the experience even more gratifying,” said Enos, who is also the chief technology officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. “I was humbled when the family from the Hungarian company approached us afterward and thanked us for our input into their issues,” he said. “I learned a great deal about how to apply the information in the MBA program to the real world.”