University of Texas at Austin
The many windows of Rowling Hall

Roundtable and MBA Operations Challenge

McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

SCMC Roundtable and MBA Operations Challenge - Fall 2020

SCMC Roundtable Conference
brings together industry, students, and faculty to develop and communicate new knowledge about topics in supply chain management. This Roundtable will address Digitalizing the Ecosystem.

MBA Operations Challenge
offers first-year MBAs a "live" supply chain and operations experience based on a challenging business case involving real-world issues currently faced by industry. Students present their strategies directly to the case sponsor and a panel of cross-industry judges. This Challenge will focus on Geopolitical Risk Management.

Event Format

Event Format

Due to limitations for in-person events through Fall 2020, this year's Roundtable and Operations Challenge will be hosted virtually, as two events. We are working to finalize the dates and times.


Two-hour webinar with executive speakers and a panel discussion with additional executives and McCombs faculty.

Operations Challenge

Two-day challenge will begin with a Preliminary Round where up to 16 teams will be randomly divided into four flights. Students in teams of four will present solutions to a panel of industry judges. One team from each flight will advance to the Final Round on day two.


These events will include opportunities for virtual networking.



More information about the speakers and panelists is coming soon. 

Digitalizing the Ecosystem

“As technology continues to evolve, it’s moving away from single independent applications to comprehensive environments that will have the capability to connect and orchestrate across the ecosystem. The evolution of technology is by far the prevailing force reshaping supply chains. The good news is that developing a roadmap is no longer the barrier. However, now it’s culture, legacy technology and data access/usability. The task ahead is determining which elements are fit for the future and which need to be changed.”

Source: 2019 Gartner Future of Supply Chain Survey


MBA Operations Challenge

The challenge exposes students to realistic supply chain issues and provides employers with an opportunity to preview the students' business skills under pressure. All first year Texas McCombs MBAs are eligible to compete.

  • Students assemble teams of 4
  • Compete to win cash prizes
  • Judges from a wide range of companies
  • Networking opportunities and MBA resume book

Geopolitical Risk Management

The topic and resulting live case are being developed in collaboration with the case sponsor.


Challenge Rules 2019

Challenge Rules 2019

  1. Teams must consist of four (4) active, first-year MBA students. A max of 16 teams will compete.
  2. All team members are expected to attend all events related to the Roundtable and Operations Challenge on 11/14-11/15. Any conflicts must be reported to the challenge organizers via email by 3:00 PM Central on Friday, 11/8. Failure to attend could result in disqualification. Winners must be present at the awards ceremony to receive cash prizes.
  3. At least 3 of the 4 team members must be present for the team to compete in the preliminary round and if applicable, final round.
  4. Teams will have limited opportunities to ask the case sponsor clarifying questions about the case.
  5. Teams are expressly prohibited from discussing the case or accepting assistance from any person outside the team, with the exception of communication coaches.
  6. Teams are encouraged to schedule a one-hour session with a McCombs Communication Coach between 11/5 and 11/12. To access coaches, teams can utilize 15 minutes from each student's coaching allotment. Teams must contact coaches directly to set up practice/prep sessions, using the list of coaches on the MBA+ Canvas page. Or the list of coaches specializing in Case Challenge preparation.
  7. Teams are permitted to utilize any publicly available information to develop case solutions - written resource, scholarly publication, internet, industry journals, academic textbooks, etc.
  8. Case presentations must be uploaded in PowerPoint format by 6:00 PM Central on Wednesday, 11/13. An upload widget will be provided on the "Presentation Upload" tab on the event website. Presentations may NOT be changed in any way after submission.
  9. Presentations should be no more than 15 minutes. Judges will be allotted 5 minutes for Q&A, plus 5 minutes for verbal feedback. Preliminary round feedback will occur during the preliminary round presentation slot. Final round feedback will occur after all the final presentations are complete.
  10. Teams will be randomly split into four preliminary round flights. Judges will select one team from each flight to proceed to the final round.
  11. Preliminary round order will be based on a random draw. If any team member has a class conflict during a presentation block, it must be reported to event organizers via email by 3:00 PM on Friday, 11/8.
  12. Preliminary round assignments will be emailed to teams by 9:00 PM Central, 11/13. After release, no change can be made to the flight assignments.
  13. Teams must check-in to the preliminary round at least 15 minutes prior to the assigned presentation time. Failure to arrive on time could result in disqualification.
  14. Judges are provided a rubric for evaluating the presentations. However, judges are professionals in the filed and may use the evaluation criteria as they see fit. Decisions by the judges will be final.
  15. Teams will provide hard copies of the presentation materials to the judges. The number of judges will be provided at the case release.
  16. Winning prize amounts are paid to individuals. All winnings are considered taxable income and each person will be responsible for reporting that income to the IRS.
  17. By participating in this event, you grant challenge organizers permission to publish any photographs taken during the challenge containing you or your likeness for publicity purposes.



Challenge Team Registration

Team registration is coming soon. One team member will register the team. To register, you will need:

  • Team Name
  • Four team members - name, email
  • Resume for each team member

Following submission, your team's registration will be confirmed via email.


Roundtable Registration

Roundtable registration is coming soon. This registration is for McCombs faculty, staff, students, and corporate supporters.


Presentation Upload

Presentation Upload

Case solutions are due by 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 13.

Upload your PowerPoint presentation using the blue button below.

Please include your team name in the document title. If you have any technical difficulties, please contact Diana Busler.

Presentation Upload