BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Kelley School of Business hosted the 11th National Diversity Case Competition, a special event that provides career opportunities for top-level, diverse talent from colleges and universities across the country.
The competition, held annually the weekend before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, took place virtually for a second straight year, but continued to challenge participants to solve diversity-related business issues and share ideas while benefiting from workshops and networking with companies that value inclusion.
About 140 undergraduate students from 35 business schools participated this year. Teams included students from Big Ten peers at the universities of Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland and Nebraska, Pennsylvania State University and Purdue University.
Participants also included those from three historically black institutions — Claflin University, Delaware State University and Xavier University of Louisiana.
Each four-student team included two members from an underrepresented population. Many students find that participating in the event leads to leadership opportunities, internships, and jobs after graduation. They competed for $22,000 in prize money.
“We are proud to once again host this competition. A founding principle of this event is that diversity in business benefits all of us. The value to society of this event is as important today as it was when we welcomed the first NDCC participants to Kelley in 2012,” said Idalene “Idie” Kesner, dean of the Kelley School and the Frank P. Popoff Chair of Strategic Management.
“Through this event, our faculty and staff appreciate the opportunity to introduce many talented students from underrepresented minority backgrounds to corporate recruiters from national organizations,” Kesner added. “Whether virtual as is the case this year, or in-person as in the past, this event provides a platform where students can showcase their talents and recruiters can exhibit their company’s diversity efforts. Our corporate partners see the significant value of participating in this event as a way of fostering greater diversity within their organizations.”
Students normally would travel to Bloomington, but the event on Jan. 14-15 was again being held online because of the pandemic. But they still benefited from networking opportunities and workshops designed to support career opportunities for diverse students in Fortune 500 companies.
Competition began early Saturday, Jan. 15, with the schools divided into seven brackets. The winners in each bracket continued to the finals. Prizes were awarded to the winner, the finalists and the runners-up in each bracket. Last year, a team from Kelley came in first, followed by those from the University of Washington, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan and Boston College.
3M, a platinum supporter, also provided the case that students used. It addressed a real-world issue for many companies: how to increase adoption of robotics and automation for small and medium sized businesses, particularly those that are minority owned. Judges were looking for creative solutions that leverage the students’ diverse backgrounds and encourage a solution where authentic differences in backgrounds, experiences, cultures and thoughts are appreciated.
Other corporate, diamond supporters were Cummins Inc., EY, GE and Procter & Gamble; gold supporters are Abbvie, Altria, Abercrombie & Fitch, BofA Merrill Lynch, BKD, Crowe LLP, Discover, E&J Gallo Winery, Geico, TEKsystems and Whirlpool.
Below are the results of the 2022 competition:
1st Place – University of Denver
2nd Place – University of Michigan
3rd Place – University of Iowa
4th Place – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
5th Place – University of Washington-Seattle
6th Place – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
7th Place – The College of William & Mary
Runners up — in no particular order — were Claflin University, University of Cincinnati, University of Maryland, College Park, University of California, Berkeley, University of Richmond, Georgia State University and Purdue University.
In addition to the host school, other participating schools were Boston College, Boston University, Brigham Young University, Butler University, Drexel University, Georgetown University, James Madison University, Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Portland State University, Texas A&M University, University at Buffalo, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, University of Oregon, University of Vermont, University of Virginia and Xavier University of Louisiana.