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Alumni & Donor Stories

Kelley hosts Midwest Diversity Case Competition - 05/25/2012

Kelley hosts Midwest Diversity Case Competition

The Kelley Student Diversity Council (KSDC) hosted its first intercollegiate Midwest Diversity Case Competition Spring semester 2012. KSDC students worked with Kelley corporate relations staff to secure judges and financial support from six companies: Target Corporation, Allstate Insurance, General Mills, Huron Consulting, KPMG, and Xerox Corporation.

KSDC president and Kelley junior majoring in finance and entrepreneurship, Erick Ferrer, has a goal of making the Kelley School “the premier hub for diversity” in business schools. KSDC has run an internal case competition for the past few years, but always intended to grow the event to an intercollegiate competition and, in turn, transform business education at Kelley and throughout the country by supplementing the traditional business curriculum with issues of diversity and inclusion.

In order to accomplish these goals, KSDC needed the support of Kelley recruiting companies and teams from Midwest business schools. This year teams from University of Illinois, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Iowa, and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne participated in the competition, which included a career fair and networking dinner with corporate donors.

The teams received the case in advance. The case, created by Target Corporation, challenged the student teams to craft a business marketing plan to meet the needs of Hispanic customers as they are projected to become the retailer’s largest demographic over the next 25 years. First place went Washington University in St. Louis, second to the University of Chicago, and third to the Indiana University Kelley School of Business team.

Kelley junior Jon Sobilo, co-director of the event, said “As a student you face an uphill battle, in some respects, in getting others to take your ideas seriously and invest in them. Our experiences could not be further from this norm.” He said the success of this event would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and support of Kelley faculty, staff, and corporate partners. Kelley corporate partners are to thank for many of our students’ experiential learning opportunities.