Terry College of Business students put their knowledge to the test by developing real-time solutions to business problems at the inaugural Terry Business Extravaganza.
Hosted by the Multicultural Business Student Association on March 1, the event allowed students to enhance their skills and have them respond to real-world scenarios they might face in future employment.
“I think it’s going to help students utilize their business skills and grow upon them,” said Isabella Patel, a fourth-year finance major.
As MBSA vice president, Patel helped plan the showcase, designing the contest with co-organizers to be accessible for students with different levels of professional experience.
Representatives from Verizon, WestRock, Credera and Moore Colson were invited to create a business scenario and listen to the participants’ potential solutions.
“We wanted to make sure that (the business case studies) were relevant and applicable to what we’re experiencing in the market,” said Marcia Shippey-Pryce, senior director of indirect tax at WestRock.
Students were given details about the company’s business case and had 15 minutes to brainstorm through peer discussion. Individuals were encouraged to share solutions and input while company representatives provided feedback.
Randy Groomes, director of the Terry College’s Office of Diversity Relations, told students “the key was to learn” from each scenario. While there was no winner, every student had the chance to build their experience and their network.
“I think the real world is a big thing — because a lot of the time we work on textbook problems,” said Caitlin Gardiner, a junior finance major who participated. “(Those answers) are very spelled out, and you can tell that it is perfectly designed, but the real world isn’t like that.”
Encouraging students from different backgrounds to discuss realistic business problems helps model what they will encounter when entering the workforce, Groomes said.
“I’m incredibly proud of the students who helped plan the event and all the students who came out to participate,” he said. “The solutions they came up with really just demonstrated the creativity and problem-solving skills of our students.