Each year, Conexus Indiana hosts exceptional college and university students from across the country to compete in the Conexus Indiana Case Competition. The competition, in its fifth year, gets bigger every year. We are always delighted to get to know the students during the 2-day event and to find out what motivates them to compete. This year, we uncovered two teams with two completely different experiences.
One team, which was called Team Eagle Creek, included Rebecca Bamforth, Priya Moorthy, Alissa Honigford and Julia Waddles. Each team member attends a different college, but they know each other from their high school days at Park Tudor. Another team, which was called Team Mass Ave., included Jenna Cappo, Ashley Murphy, Destiney Johnson and Diora Anthony. They came together as complete strangers from four different universities.
One team from high school days, another together in the blink of an eye. Conexus sat down with each of these teams to discuss their unique experience, how teamwork played into their success in the competition and what they’d tell future teams.
A Discussion with Team Eagle Creek. High School Friends and Case Competition Teammates
What led you to sign up for the Case Competition?
“I’ve known Sarah since I was six. And I ran into her and she recommended [the Case Competition} to me since I expressed interest in pursuing a business degree. I knew that Priya was interested in majoring in something business-related as well and I keep in touch with Alissa and Julia l, so this was actually a somewhat random group we put together. But part of why we came together is we knew that all four of us would work our hardest at whatever problem faced us in the competition.” — Rebecca Bamforth, Emory University, Class of 2023
“I had no idea what a Case Competition was when Rebecca asked me to sign up for this. But because of COVID-19 and being unable to be on campus, I was hungry for some sort of opportunity like this where I could try something new and explore a potential career path.” — Priya Moorthy, Northwestern University, Class of 2023
How did you come together to work on the case?
“When we had to work collaboratively, we would Zoom, but because of knowing each other prior to the competition we felt comfortable being able to assign and divvy up tasks to complete individually.” — Alissa Honigford, Purdue University, Class of 2023
“Having known each other so long, we knew what each other’s strengths were going into the competition. Being able to strategize with those strengths was a big help.” — Priya
“The connection we all had before coming into the competition was a big advantage. It allowed us to send texts and hold each other accountable for the work we each promised or give constructive feedback on each other’s work, which we might not feel comfortable doing in a group of strangers.” — Julia Waddles, Columbia University, Class of 2023
What did you find exciting or rewarding about the competition?
“For me personally I found being able to ‘experience’ what businesses had gone through due to COVID-19 was a real eye-opener. Because from the consumer side it’s obviously hard for everyone, but by being faced with the decisions that they were like whether or not we’d have to lay hypothetical people off or switch to automation, was really eye opening to what this pandemic has been like for the economy and businesses.” — Julia
What advice would you give to someone considering participating in the competition?
“Just do it. Say you’re interested in social policy or politics, even that can play a role in this competition. The competition incorporates a lot of different interests. For example, I’m looking into a career in marketing and communications and marketing even plays a part in the case we were given. The competition is very interdisciplinary and whatever you’re studying you’ll find something for you.” — Priya
“Don’t shy away from it, even when you see who you’re competing against. We quickly realized almost everyone we were competing against was studying supply chain management or some other business component. And even if you don’t win, the worst-case scenario is you’ll get some great practice presenting and learn something new.” — Rebecca
The Mass Ave team came together as complete strangers from four different universities.
What inspired you to compete in the Conexus Indiana Case Competition?
“I wanted to learn new information, and step outside my comfort zone, challenge myself to something I have never done before.” — Ashley Murphy, Georgia State University, Class of 2023
What did you find exciting or rewarding during the competition?
“Because of Covid-19, this was one of the most exciting events I have done in a while. I was happy to dress up and present myself to the judges, and I was eager to try my best in this competition.” — Ashley
What advice would you give to someone considering competing in the competition?
“Communication. Be comfortable with who you are working with and be on the same page with the team you are working with. Be comfortable communicating and bouncing ideas off each other, this will allow more creativity, ideas, and possible solutions.” — Jenna Cappo, Ball State University
What did you learn from your experience, about yourself and about working in a team?
“I learned to speak less and listen more. My team members made great suggestions on how we should complete our PowerPoint. I enjoyed hearing their thoughts and opinions. If I were working on this alone, I would not have a different perspective on how to develop my PowerPoint. My teammates all had great ideas, and when we put our minds together, we balanced out each other’s ideas and came to one agreement that everyone was satisfied with.” — Ashley
“When working with a team you must remember to understand where everyone is coming from. Each team member on Mass Ave. had a different major, some outside the main scope of the case. Having the ability to explain and bring together ideas to help others understand the information was important when working with our team. I learned that it is important to break up the work, establish goals for each team member, and setting standards or expectations is important when working with a team.” — Jenna