The semester started early for first-year MBA students who participated in a case study hosted by Koch Industries. KU School of Business lecturers Venkat Bendapudi, Steve Liggett and Wally Meyer prepared the students for the annual first-year MBA KU Case Competition on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
They worked on the case for 24 hours and, on Thursday morning, with the help of KU Media Productions, Duane McGregor, one of the four judges and a senior business consultant at Koch, held a question and answer video conference. Friday morning, the students travelled to the company’s headquarters in Wichita to present their cases to a panel of judges. In addition to McGregor, Chase Koch, senior vice president of Koch Agronomic Services, LLC, Pamela Swedlund, human resource leader of Koch Industries and Jeff Gentry, chief executive officer of INVISTA.
“KU Business Alumnus Jeff Gentry was instrumental in making the competition happen,” said Catherine Shenoy, director of MBA programs, “and Rachael Sanner, a KU alumna, coordinated the event in consultation with Koch College Recruiting.”
Several members of the business school staff and faculty travelled to Wichita with Shenoy, Bendapudi and the students: Dee Steinle, administrative director of masters programs; Jinae Krieshok, MBA recruiter; and David Byrd-Stadler, employee relations coordinator.
The MBA students presented their arguments on whether Koch should convert an existing facility to produce the crop fertilizer YieldMax or whether a brand new facility should be built. The six groups gave 15 minute presentations with an additional 10 minutes for questions. Suzelle Tala Medjou, Boyao Bi, Anas Maazouzi and John Terkovich won first place; Colin Hartigan, Marion Caremel, Jacob Esau and Prasanna Tadimeti won second place; and Paul Epp, Moses Jiang, Andrew Lovgren and Gary Snider won third.