sealPurdue News

October 20, 2000

Krannert's black MBA team wins
national competition, $12,000

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Purdue University Krannert Graduate School of Management team walked away with top honors and a $12,000 prize in a case competition at the 30th Annual National Black MBA Association Convention.

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"Our task was to develop a strategy for DaimlerChrysler to add satellite navigation and a communication system to its cars and to present a two-year implementation plan," said team member Yashekia L. Felder. She explained that DaimlerChrysler wants to offer technology comparable to General Motors' OnStar navigation and communication system. DaimlerChrysler was one of the corporate sponsors of the Oct. 6 and 7 conference in Chicago.

The other team members were Erica M. Buckner, Tiara Chivers and Maurice Johnson. They are all second-year master of science in management graduate students. All the students are participants in Purdue's Business Opportunity Program, directed by Cornell A. Bell. The program has been attracting high-potential undergraduate and MBA minority students to the Krannert School for three decades.

Thirty-three teams participated in the case competition. In the first round of the double-elimination event, the Purdue team bested the competition from Yale, MIT, California-Berkeley and Ohio State. Other business schools represented in the competition included Southern California, Johns Hopkins, Pennsylvania State and Duke.

Buckner made the team's 20-minute presentation in each of the two rounds, and the team fielded questions from three judges for 10 minutes.

Felder said the team received a description of the case four weeks before the competition. There was no financial information provided, so the students spent the majority of their preparation time doing research.

"We wanted to do well in honor of Dr. Bell's 30th anniversary with the Krannert School," Buckner said. "Once we got there, we realized that we had a newfound pride in representing the Krannert School and the Boilermakers."

Johnson said the prize money, which the team members will split, was a surprise. "We thought it went to the school," he said.

The National Black MBA Association has had case competitions since 1992. The team representing the Krannert School also won the first contest.

Sources: Yashekia L. Felder, (765) 495-7885,

Erica M. Buckner, (765) 474-6182,

Writer: J. Michael Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Other sources: Tiara Chivers, (765) 471-1162,

Maurice Johnson, (765) 446-1409,

Cornell A. Bell, (765) 494-4520,

Purdue University's winning team in the National Black MBA Association's case study competition present their trophy to Cornell A. Bell, Krannert School director of minority programs: (from left) Erica M. Buckner, Tiara Chivers, Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management; Maurice Johnson, Bell and Yashekia L. Felder (Photo by Tricia Reed)

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