Rider team wins third place in national business competition

By Tatyanna Carman 

A Rider team from the Norm Brodsky College of Business tied for third place with Lehigh University at the Johnson and Johnson National Business Case Competition on March 22. 

Before continuing onto the national competition, the six-person team competed against three other Rider teams in order to move forward in the national competition. The Rider competition was judged by Johnson and Johnson representatives. The teams were assigned through the course, “Case Analysis & Presentation.” 

Associate Professor of marketing and team adviser Larry Newman said, “Every school has the same project, then it’s a disguised, real product. They changed the name, but it was a skin cream and it was a merger and acquisition of a company from, I believe Japan. Johnson and Johnson were deciding whether to buy that company or not and that was what the product was. That was the case that they were doing.” 

Rider competed against other universities such as Cornell University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey. 

The team had a month to create their project. According to Newman, Johnson and Johnson presented the case to the four groups of students on February 10 and then judged the on-campus competition on March 10. 

The Rider team that won first place in the Rider competition won $2,000, which they split between each of the members. They then had the opportunity to compete in the national competition. 

Junior accounting major Nikayla Harrill said that she applied for the class and competed in the competition last spring, and her adviser recommended she apply for the class again last semester. 

“When it came to course selection this fall, I had room for a couple more credits to my schedule and they were looking for some upperclassmen in [the] case because part of the requirements for the team is to have a couple of juniors and seniors per team, and also a certain number of finance and accounting people,” said Harrill. “That way, we can understand the financial information that they present us with. So my advisor had recommended that I do it again, and take an independent study with that. So, they needed another upperclassman for this year. So I decided to go through it again because I loved the experience the first time.”

She said that the goal of the project was to make decisions based on different aspects of the dermal cosmetic skincare brand of a disguised company named Sonny and Sonny. 

“The goal was for us to make decisions based on different aspects of the company. So for example, there was a research and development decision, marketing, financial information we were presented with,” said Harrill. “So our job was to basically evaluate all the information presented in this case about this dermal cosmetic brand, and how our company was going to move forward in kind of selling that and advertising that to consumers. And then once that was completed, we were tasked with kind of completing a presentation and then we presented both at the Rider competition and then this past Monday, we presented to a bunch of Johnson and Johnson employees for the national competition.” 

Sophomore finance major Brandon Smith said that the team was shocked when they found out that they tied for third place. 

“You know, there were a lot of big schools there, going up against you know, some schools like Cornell, Lehigh, Penn State, Rutgers,” Smith said. “It can be a little intimidating but we knew we had an extremely good team. We put a lot of time in and I think that definitely showed in the Rider competition and in the national competition, that was one of the really good pieces of feedback that we received.” 

Smith said that the experience gave him a lot of confidence in his capabilities. 

“From this opportunity though it challenged me to kind of take more chances,” said Smith. “I applied for a J and J co-op, a finance position, and I believe through that, I ended up getting the job. [I’m]  still waiting for my official offer but I have received the verbal offer from J and J. So it really gave me the confidence in myself to continue to just challenge myself and obviously, it worked out for the better so this competition really set me up specifically with J and J for coming up in July and then hopefully once I graduate.” 

Newman said that the members of the winning team would have the “immediate opportunity to get an internship with Johnson and Johnson,” but would still need to go through the interview process. Newman also explained the impact of their accomplishment on the Rider community. 

“I think it’s just a validation of what we say, which is the quality of our program and that our program can compete with anyone,” Newman said. “And our students can compete with anyone in terms of jobs, careers and because these were business students from schools and their decision making was right at the top. So in terms of impact, I think it just shows our current students as well as potential students, the quality of our program, another measure of that.” 

Caption: The Rider team that won first place in the Rider competition was awarded $2,000, which it had to split between each of the members, and got to continue and compete in the national competition.  

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