On Friday, November 8, three students from the University of Connecticut traveled to Provo, Utah to compete in the Seventh Annual Business Language Case Competition at the Brigham Young University (BYU) Marriott School of Business. The three students were Sarah Scheffel ’14, a senior who is majoring in international business with a minor in Spanish, Akanksha Singh ’16, a second-year student studying finance and Spanish, and Jonathan Sanchez ’14 (CLAS), a political science major also in his last year. The team was accompanied by Kelly Aceto, Managing Director of the UConn Center for International Business Education and Research.
The competition was conducted in two categories: Spanish and Mandarin. All of the participants were non-native speakers of each language. The team from UConn participated in the Spanish competition, in which they had to read a case about Wal-Mart’s expansion into organics, create an executive summary and PowerPoint presentation, and answer ten minutes of questions all in Spanish.
Overall, the BYU competition was an incredible experience for the students who took part because it allowed them to showcase their business acumen and foreign language skills, sharpen their presentation skills for real-life global business situations, and network with international business professionals who served as judges and coaches, as well as the other participants. Other schools present at the competition were Arizona State University, University of Miami, Indiana University, American University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Washington, University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University, University of Pennsylvania, Utah State University, and University of Notre Dame. This is the first year that UConn has participated in the Business Language Case Competition.
The UConn team was sponsored by the UConn Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), which is one of the 33 CIBERs located in top business schools throughout the U.S. The UConn CIBER is mandated to increase the competitiveness of U.S. business in the global marketplace.