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Release: Immediate

UI business students compete in international 'case' competition April 5-7

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A team of University of Iowa business students are showcasing their knowledge in an international "tournament of champions" that runs through Tuesday, April 7 in Atlantic City, N.J., competing in a test of the analytical and communications skills of aspiring business people.

The UI group is one of five teams of master of business administration (MBA) students invited to take part in the 15th Annual Rutgers University MBA Invitational Case Tournament at Bally's Park Place Hotel and Casino. The competition began Sunday, April 5.

The competition is a three-day event in which team members are assigned to solve a real business problem and given 24 hours to develop recommendations for the company facing the problem. The teams then present their recommendations to a three-person panel of judges that includes two chief executive officers (CEOs) of major corporations.

"The pressure is fairly intense," says Tom Gruca, associate professor of marketing and faculty advisor to the UI team. "Not only do you have to come up with a good solution for the case, you also have to convince an imposing panel of judges of the quality of your recommendations."

In order to be eligible for the tournament, teams must have won a previous regional competition. The UI won the 1997 Big Ten Case Competition.

The four-person UI team of Chundra Johnson, Jay Hamilton, Ann Hoeger, and Avi Sengupta also represented the UI at the 1998 Big Ten Case Competition in January.

They will compete against teams from Rutgers University at Camden, N.J. (the host school); the University of Western Ontario; Rotterdam (the Netherlands) School of Management; and the champion of the Southeast Conference tournament.