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Notre Dame teams with Microsoft on virtual case competition

Competition, open to the public, awards $25,000 fellowship, Xbox 360s and hundreds of prizes

by Carol Elliott

October 3, 2011

Business Chart


Members of the public as well as prospective MBA students have the opportunity to participate in a virtual case competition hosted by the University of Notre Dame MBA program. In addition to a chance at winning a $25,000 fellowship and hundreds of additional prizes, participants will get the opportunity to put their best ideas in front of software powerhouse Microsoft, the sponsor of the competition.

The Notre Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge currently is open for registration on the  website. The deadline for entering the contest is Oct. 28.

“We are excited to be working with Microsoft on the Deep-Dive Challenge,” said Mary Goss, senior director of the Notre Dame MBA. “This is an innovative challenge that pertains to the company’s interest in supporting local communities and education. We encourage anyone who has a creative idea to offer to get involved.”

“The type of student Notre Dame attracts is the perfect fit for this mission, and we are eager to see their solutions and ideas,” said Kristin Bockius, Microsoft U.S. Education Marketing Manager. “Microsoft is extremely committed to education, community and giving back, which aligns perfectly with Notre Dame's commitment to the idea that business is one of the most powerful means for doing good in this country."

To enter, participants must register on the Deep-Dive Challenge website and submit a one-page proposal for a cause-marketing plan for Microsoft. The challenge’s case brief will be provided on the site Oct. 20. During the competition, participants also will have the opportunity to chat online with Microsoft executives, as well as to talk strategy with MBA students in the Deep-Dive’s discussion forum.

Judging will take place in two phases: A team composed of three members of the Mendoza College of Business faculty and staff will review all entries and select 10 to be judged by executives at Microsoft. Microsoft will select one Grand Prize winner, one second-place winner and one third-place winner.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria: (1) understanding of the business problem presented; (2) insightfulness and creativity of solution and (3) organization and development of the ideas expressed.

Winners will be announced by late November. Prizes are provided by corporate partners of the Notre Dame MBA program.

The grand prize winner will receive a $25,000 fellowship to the Notre Dame MBA program if he or she matriculates into the program in the 2012-2013 academic year, as well as a Samsung 9 Series laptop, a Microsoft Xbox 360 250Gb Kinect Bundle, a Keurig Platinum Coffee Brewer, a $100 McDonald’s Arch Card® and a $100 adidas gift card. Second and third-place winners will receive a Microsoft Xbox 360 250Gb Kinect Bundle and additional items.

The first 50 contestants to register for the challenge and submit an entry will receive a prize package valued at $30 that includes a Microsoft Windows earbud set, a $5 McDonalds Arch Card® and an adidas/Notre Dame T-shirt.

All contestants who submit an entry in accordance with the competition guidelines will receive an application fee waiver for the Oct. 31, 2011 Notre Dame MBA program application deadline.

See the challenge website for additional details and rules.

The Notre Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge was inspired by Interterm Intensives, a signature component of the Notre Dame MBA curriculum. Each spring and fall, MBA students participate in intense four-day sessions involving real-world presentations and case competitions from some of the top Fortune 100 companies, including Whirlpool, GE, adidas and McDonald’s.

A previous Deep-Dive Challenge held in January 2011 featured a sustainability case sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, manufacturer of the Keurig coffee-makers.

The Notre Dame MBA at the Mendoza College of Business enrolls approximately 340 students annually in its one-year and two-year programs. The program is designed to sharpen students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, enhance their leadership ability and increase emphasis on ethical decision making. Students have the opportunity to study the complexities of global business through international immersions in Asia, Latin America and other locations.

The Notre Dame MBA is ranked 24th among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek and No. 4 worldwide on the 2010-2011 Aspen Institute’s “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” an alternative ranking that measures the school’s integration of sustainability and social responsibility into curricula and research. The Mendoza College also is a member of the Forté Foundation, a consortium of major corporations and top business schools supporting women in business leadership roles.

For more information about the Notre Dame MBA, contact Brian Lohr, Director of Admissions, at (574) 631-8488 or Lohr.1@nd.edu, or visit business.nd.edu/mba.