Marketing Summit Live is an annual student run marketing case competition held by the Wake Forest University School of Business every Spring. This year’s was held on Thursday, February 27, 2014 to Saturday, March 1, 2014. The Undergraduate Marketing Association (UMA) led by the student organization’s President and Berkeley-Haas senior, Aneri Shah, represented UC Berkeley and won third place, after Northeastern University and University of Pennsylvania, who won first and second place, respectively. Other participating schools included Universidad Panamericana; University of Maryland, College Park; and Wake Forest University. The student team consisted of Aneri Shah, Lisa Zhang (Business and Molecular and Cell Biology) BS and BA 2016, Hannah Toohey (Business) BS 2014, Gloria Yen (Business and Psychology) BS and BA 2015, Justin Cheng (Business and Psychology) BS and BA 2014, and Tiffany Lin (Business and Economics) BS and BA 2016.
This year’s case competition challenge was to create a nationwide expansion strategy for the regional soda manufacturer Cheerwine. The winning team from Berkeley proposed to leverage the local feel of Cheerwine and market this to small communities through family businesses. Participants highlighted that a solid teamwork, comprehensive business strategy, and creativity were key factors that led to the team’s success.
One of the teammates, Hanna, indicated that the case competition was an opportunity to put concepts learned during classes at Haas into practice through this case competition: “ The intensive 36 hours and our presentation that resulted showed me the tremendous amount of knowledge and business-related skills that we have acquired here at Haas.” Going off from Hanna’s experience, Aneri, the President of UMA, also said that this experience resulted in substantial and learning and further shared her opinion that “UGBA 106 should be restructured into a 36 hour case competition [that would make us] think through the mutually exclusive options, brainstorm both creatively and strategically, and defend our rationales.”
This experience not only enabled the team to drive results by working efficiently, but also connected them with many other students who had a shared passion for marketing. Aneri commented that “marketing is often dismissed in business school curricula, as the majority of students choose to pursue ABC careers. But being surrounded by a wealth of talented students who were passionate about marketing really helped me realize its academic worth, and the impact it can have in driving corporate strategy.”
The UMA team took on the challenge of coming up with a solution within a limited time frame of 36 hours and turned into an opportunity to showcase the team’s ability to work well together, derive a solution from a comprehensive analysis of the prompt, and enjoy the experience of growing and learning from each other.