Each year, teams of students spend several days working on simulated cases for academic challenges hosted by McCombs. The teams make presentations to executives, who select winners and offer industry-specific feedback.
National Case Competitions
National Energy Finance Challenge
The Energy Finance Challenge, hosted by McCombs' Energy Finance Group, gives students an introduction to the energy industry and the issues it faces today. The challenge is sponsored and judged by companies from a variety of energy industries, including integrated oil and gas, commodities trading and consulting. In the past three years of this competition (2010-12), the Texas MBA team took first place, defeating schools such as Harvard, Yale, Wharton, UNC, Virginia-Darden, Columbia, NYU-Stern, Carnegie-Mellon, MIT, Chicago, Cornell, Purdue, Michigan, UC Berkeley, and Duke. For each victory, the University lit the Tower orange in honor of the winning team, a tradition reserved for highly esteemed accomplishments such as national victories.
National Real Estate Challenge
Hosted by McCombs, the National Real Estate Challenge is a case-based real estate competition among leading business/real estate schools around the country. The event is judged by esteemed real estate professionals and is designed to give graduate students a taste of the challenges that face real estate professionals after graduation.
McCombs Case Competitions
Every fall the Graduate Consulting Group holds the Deloitte Consulting Challenge, which gives teams of MBA students the opportunity to experience a real-life consulting situation. Time is limited, the presentation has to be perfected, and the solution must be rock solid. The case is distributed during the evening, and MBAs are given all night to prepare. Teams present the results of their case analysis beginning at 8:00 a.m. on the following day.
The annual MBA Finance Challenge is the largest and longest-running MBA case competition at McCombs. Every year, roughly 100 first-year students compete in teams of four by analyzing and providing a solution to an in-depth financial business case. The challenge takes place over the course of three intense days. On the final day, the students present their conclusions to a panel of corporate and faculty judges. The goal of the challenge is to be one of the teams selected to the final round, where you are given the opportunity to to compete for cash prizes.
The Tech/Ops Challenge is the biggest yearly event organized by the Graduate Business Technology Group. It is a one-day case competition that requires teams of tech and operations-savvy MBA students to analyze a business case overnight and present a sound operational and strategic solution to a panel of industry and faculty judges. Every fall, about 80 MBA students participate in this event. Past sponsors have included 3M, Accenture, Applied Materials, Booz Allen Hamilton, Chevron Texaco, Citigroup, Conoco Philips, Dell, Ford, HP, Halliburton, Motorola, Philip Morris USA, SVC, Texas Instruments, and Valero.
Global Business Challenge
The Global Business Challenge aims to recreate an international business situation in which first-year MBA students are given a case that measures their ability to balance cultural and business concerns to be successful. Teams are judged on their proposal's case analysis, quality of presentation, creative solutions, and understanding of the business/cultural situation. Organized annually by the Latin American and Hispanic Master in Business Association, the Global Business Challenge strengthens participants' teamwork, analysis and presentation skills, and provides the opportunity for students to showcase those skills to human resources and business managers from Fortune 500 companies.
Hot Seat Marketing Challenge
The Hot Seat Marketing Challenge epitomizes the array of enriching extracurricular options for Texas MBA students. This real world "live case" scenario puts participants in the shoes of today's professionals, enhancing their skills while giving them the opportunity to directly apply what they're learning in the classroom to a rewarding enterprise. Past sponsors have included Dr Pepper Snapple Group, AMD, Dell, Deloitte, Frito Lay, Walmart, American Airlines, Chevron, GE, Minute Maid, and Pizza Hut.