Academics and Research

Daniels team places 2nd in Aspen Institute’s International MBA Case Competition

Four MBA students from DU’s Daniels College of Business took second place in the prestigious Aspen Institute’s 2016 Business & Society International MBA Case Competition. The Daniels team included four full-time MBA students: Jim Gordon, Patrick Brennan, Brian Hartman and Shirin Porbanderwala. Gordon is also pursuing a master’s in international security; Brennan is pursuing a master’s in global finance, trade and economic integration; and Porbanderwala is pursuing a degree in law.

Daniels was one of 25 business schools chosen to participate in the Aspen Institute competition. More than 1,000 students from around the world analyzed a case study authored by the Yale School of Management and gave deep thought to the potentially positive role that a well-managed business can have in society. The case focused on illycaffè, a global premium coffee company aimed at creating a more equitable coffee industry for everyone involved in production, from the grower to the roaster to the barista.

The competing teams were flown to New York City, where they presented to a panel of corporate judges and other thought leaders. The Daniels team won $7,500 for second place.

“Engaging students in active, challenged-based educational activities reflects the very best of today’s business schools,” says Brent Chrite, dean of the Daniels College. “We’re thrilled that the judges recognized the performance of our students at the Aspen competition.”

Daniels MBA students have competed the past seven years in the case competition and made it to the finals four times. The Daniels team placed first in 2012.

“Now in its seventh year, this program provides a unique, important — and fun — opportunity for MBA students to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom in a practical and meaningful way,” says Claire Preisser, associate director of the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program. “We are proud to work with our partnering schools who are inspiring the next generation of business executives to think long-term and act in the best interests of our society.”


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