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Graduate students win consulting competition

Mar 05, 2012   |   by Kristin Yu   |   The Dartmouth

Graduate students from Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth Medical School and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a number of undergraduate students, presented their recommendations to improve the five-year growth of Kiva, a non-profit organization that links lenders and innovators via the Internet, as part of the Oliver Wyman Case Competition on Friday.

The competition — organized by the Thayer Consulting Club, the Dartmouth Society of Investment and Economics and the Graduate Consulting Club — marks the second case competition hosted by the College, according to Thayer Consulting Club member Rezwan Khan Th ’13, who was involved in the event’s organization.

The competition was comprised of three rounds, with 29 teams and a total of 107 students entered in the initial mini-case round. Teams were tasked with presenting suggestions for Outfittr, a start-up outdoor equipment rental company founded by Daniel Philp ’03 Tu ’12. Following the assignment, 16 teams progressed to the second round, and six final teams were then chosen by Tuck and Thayer faculty members judging the competition.

During the final round, the remaining teams presented their growth strategy recommendations for Kiva to judges Philp, Oliver Wyman consultant John Engstrom Th ’10 and Oliver Wyman senior associate Jeremy Sporn Tu ’08.

While judging was based on a variety of criteria, winning teams were selected for conducting the best strategic planning most closely resembling that of an actual consulting firm, Engstrom said.

The winning team, which included Yang Shen Th ’12, Yicai Bao Th ’12, Vedant Rathi Th ’12 and Boyu Zhang Th ’12, won a $2,000 prize and interviews with Oliver Wyman. Saaid Arshad ’14, Jonathan Pedde ’14 and Haider Syed Th ’13 received the second-place title and a $1,000 prize.

The competition was created to bring students together and provide them with necessary skills in the field of consulting, according to Khan. Student participants ranged from undergraduate economic majors to cell and molecular biology majors working toward their doctorates.

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