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MBA students participate in elite international competition

Lamar University’s College of Business is one of 25 business schools around the world chosen to participate in the Aspen Institute’s 2011 Business and Society International MBA Case Competition this year.

Sixteen Lamar MBA students, competing on five teams, completed the first round of the elite event last week. They were among more than 1,000 business students worldwide examining and responding to a new case study of Trina Solar, a company based in China. After receiving the case study, teams had 72 hours to prepare a written response exploring sustainable growth taking into consideration environmental, social, ethical and political concerns.

Members of LU’s winning team were Lenny Caballero of Beaumont, Peter Kolp of Beaumont and Matt McCallon of Groves. The winning entry was chosen by members of the College of Business Board of Advisors, representatives of area businesses and faculty members based on written papers and brief presentations.

Lamar’s winning paper now advances to round two, in which campus winners from all 25 schools will be narrowed to five finalist teams to compete in person in New York City later this month for $40,000 in prize money.

Lamar University was invited to participate in the elite competition because of its ranking at 67th on the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 survey, which assesses how well MBA programs incorporate social, environmental and ethical issues into the training of future business leaders.

Other programs represented in the competition include teams from Baylor University, Dartmouth College, New York University and MBA programs in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Spain and Venezuela.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for our students,” said Brad Mayer, College of Business associate dean. “Many of the students participated in a sustainability strategy class this semester taught by Jeff Dyson. They were well prepared. The Aspen Competition was the culmination of everything these students had learned from all their MBA classes. It’s the best learning experience you can get – setting forth a strategy and backing up that strategy with sound analysis.”

Lamar University’s MBA program is open to students of any undergraduate major. For more information on LU’s MBA program, attend the MBA Open House at 6 p.m. Monday, April 11 in the Galloway Business Building on campus or call (409) 880-8604.