Stetson Business Ethics Team makes finals at Georgetown University International Business Case Competition

group photo of four students on ethics team.
group photo of four students on ethics team.
The team members included, from left: Matt Clements, Amandine Louis-Charles, Bec Hett and Mark Manglardi.

Stetson University students were named winners of the Capitol Hill Bracket of the 17th Annual McDonough Business Strategy Challenge held recently at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

This international competition brings together top business school students from around the world with consulting professionals to provide nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area with innovative solutions to real-world challenges. This year, the other bracket winners included University of Toronto, Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, and Singapore Management University.

Team members included Bec Hett (team captain), senior Human Resource Management and Religious Studies major; Amandine Louis-Charles, junior International Studies and Accounting major; Matthew Clements, senior Finance major; and Mark Manglardi, senior Management major. Faculty advisors for the Business Ethics Case Competition (BECC) Team are Jim Beasley, PhD; John Tichenor, PhD; and Areti Vogel, PhD, with Tichenor serving as the lead coach for this competition.

“Participation in the Georgetown Competition was an experience that will benefit me for the rest of my professional career,” said Louis-Charles, who is from Bradenton, FL, and is pursuing dual degrees from Stetson with majors in Accounting and International Studies. “The opportunity to sharpen my research, analytical, presentation and problem-solving skills in a competitive environment will give me an edge in a job market where employers are seeking persons with this kind of training.”

The Stetson team competed against four other teams in the Capitol Hill Bracket, including Babeș-Bolyai University of Romania, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Calgary and ESADE Business School. Each of these schools has award-winning business case competition programs and Stetson was truly up against the best in the world.

“This intellectual challenge moved me to a new level in the development of skills that will undergird my continuing professional development,” said Manglardi, a Management major from Winter Park, FL. “While the preparation was intense and challenging, the opportunity to compete on an international stage was very rewarding.” Matthew Clements, senior Finance major and punter on Stetson’s football team from Melbourne, Australia, said, “I had a fantastic time working on the case and it was an honor to collaborate with my teammates. I’m excited to continue developing and honing my talents with the team in upcoming events.”

Stetson was the smallest university to field a team in the international competition and the only U.S.-based school to make the finals. Other U.S. schools in the competition included Emory University, Florida State University, Georgetown University, Oakland University and The George Washington University.

Teams were given a real-life business case and 28 hours to develop a solution. This year’s case was based on D.C.-based nonprofit organization GOODProjects, which works to transform poverty-dense communities into GOODZones (communities where 100% of families sustain annual incomes of $80,000 or more).

As the GOODProjects organization is experiencing a critical growth stage, the teams were challenged to develop a business plan to help the organization assist more families to escape the cycle of poverty. The teams developed their plans based on a thorough analysis of the financial, market and managerial aspects of the organization and then delivered a 20-minute presentation on their plan and recommendations, and answered questions from business professionals in the D.C. area. The lead sponsor of the competition, PNC Bank, which is also a major sponsor of GOODProjects, provided judges for the competition.

John Tichenor, PhD

Bec Hett, this year’s captain of the BECC, said, “The business ethics team has been a tremendous growing experience for me during my time at Stetson. This case truly challenged our analytical skills for a meaningful cause. I am looking forward to seeing how the business ethics team continues to excel in the future!” Hett joined the team in her sophomore year at Stetson and has competed in multiple competitions across the country.

“The outstanding performance of Amandine, Bec, Mark and Matt on this international stage is both illustrative of the capability of our students and illustrative of the core values of the University,” said Tichenor, associate professor of management and holder of the Eugene M. Lynn Chair of Business. “Our students continue to embrace and apply the values of integrity, responsibility and fairness in their analysis of real-world business issues. This is one of the many ways we give our students opportunities for experiential learning beyond the classroom walls.”

-Robbie Harper