University of Southern California

Marshall Global Consulting Challenge
Key Business Challenge Impacting Entertainment Industry the Focus
March 19, 2013 • by News at Marshall

Marshall MBA students were among 10 teams from leading business school programs competing in the 2013 Global Consulting Challenge (GCC). The two-day competition, the largest case competition hosted by Marshall, took place at the Davidson Conference Center at USC on Feb. 21-22, commencing with an awards dinner during which the winning teams were announced.

Sponsored by Disney/ABC Television Group, five-member teams from select schools gathered in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the United States, to address a real-world challenge facing Disney and the industry at large. Schools chosen to compete this year were evenly divided, with five domestic and five global teams: USC Marshall School of Business, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Cornell Johnson, Michigan Ross, Boston University School of Management, McGill Desautels Faculty of Management (Montreal), Copenhagen Business School, HKUST (Hong Kong), IPADE (Mexico City) and KAIST (Seoul).

Unlike case competitions where participants get only 24 hours to prepare, the GCC offers three different, but related, prompts beginning a month before teams gather at Marshall to present their recommendations. Participating teams had to make presentations in three categories—company, consulting and industry—to three sets of judges. Judging panels were composed of industry experts and executives from Disney/ABC, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Mattel, and representatives from top consulting firms including Deloitte and Booz & Company.

Participating MBA students were tasked with addressing an interactive/social television programming issue.

"The Marshall Global Consulting Challenge brings together the finest MBA students from across the globe and it's a great forum to hear their thoughts on the opportunities and challenges in the media and entertainment space," said Paul Pastor, vice president, Disney/ABC Television Group, Strategy, CRM, and Media Planning. "These students can give a unique perspective into the best ways to invest in our brands, content and products for the future."

Copenhagen Business School won the overall competition, with McGill winning the "Best Industry Recommendations" category, Michigan Ross winning the "Best Consulting Recommendations" category and UCLA taking the "Best Company Recommendations" category.

Beyond providing an important experience to learn firsthand the goals of a world-renowned company, the Global Consulting Challenge offered participants an opportunity to network with leading executives from a diverse array of organizations.

"Case competitions require the application of concepts students have learned in business education in an interdisciplinary way. It's not theoretical, but a real problem or issue facing Disney," said Fernando Zapatero, vice dean for graduate programs and Robert G. Kirby Chair in Behavioral Finance.

"Students get the opportunity to interact with and present themselves to potential employers and experts who are interested in what they have to say."

"One of the main motivators for hosting GCC is to create a signature event that MBAs can use to supplement their classes," said Bertram Foster, Marshall MBA '13, who helped organize the event and communicate with participating teams over the past year. "We design GCC to be as much like a real-world consulting project as possible. Our hope is that this competition will be a differentiator for every student involved—something that every participant can include on their resume and talk about in interviews."

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.