Michael Waitzer #MBAICC is well underway in Montreal. What an amazing event.

The Fairmont Hotel in Montreal is an appropriate setting for the John Molson MBA International Case Competition. A grand old hotel that currently has young, bright minds roaming the corridors and convention levels.

By way of background of this event, now in it’s 32nd year;  36 teams from around the world – from as far away as Cape Town, and Dublin and as close as Montreal. The teams are divided into 6 divisions, each with 6 teams, and have round robin competition where they present their solution/ideas for business cases.

There is limited time for review and prep prior to presenting to the judges – the students [and judges] get about an hour to review the case. In that hour, the students must prepare their presentation – they are sequestered into a room with no wifi, no cell services.[all low tech, which must be a real strain on this generation of MBA’s]

The scope of the organizational challenges for this event should not go unappreciated.

  • Coordinating teams from around the world,
  • Venue set up
  • Managing the business leaders that have donated time [and money]
  • Organizing 90 judges per day for 18 “Matches”
  • Overall coordination of 264 judges throughout the event.
  • Activities to keep the contestants and organizers occupied during downtime,
  • Various meals, breaks etc for specific groups – pre–case lunches, hospitality dinners, cocktails etc.
  • Much much more.

Case 1 began Monday afternoon. The Case:  What should the CEO of Yahoo do to enhance the company’s identity and grow the business? In reviewing the scores, there were clearly some leader teams in Case 1. In 18 challenges, only 3 were close in scores. [more info about scoring later]

Case 2 is currently underway, and I am Judging in Case 3 this afternoon.

More to come!