Two second-year MBA students from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business took first place in a case competition that challenged teams from 70 schools to devise ways of developing diverse workforce talent in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Crystal Moore and Erica Jones won a $35,000 scholarship for their proposal, which involved creating partnerships between historically black colleges and universities and top engineering schools, introducing a media branding campaign to promote studies in STEM fields, and collaborating with K-12 schools to create technology labs and endowed teaching positions in middle and high schools.
“We spent many early hours and late nights conducting research and interviewing other students, industry leaders, and faculty at Duke to put our best effort into this challenging business case, and it paid off,” said Moore in a statement.
Second-place and third-place teams came from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and Wake Forest University’s School of Business and received scholarships of $20,000 and $15,000, respectively.
Owen MBA students André Hill, Sharde Miller, Shandra Scott, Veronica Barnes, and Ketiwe Zipperer recommended a plan that included merit-based scholarships for undergraduates and paid summer externships for middle-school and high-school teachers to improve their understanding of STEM careers. Wake Forest MA in Management students Portia Jones, Alan Arias, Jonathan Ford Jr., Eddie Appeadu, and Sydney Blount recommended setting up a mentorship program at a regional college and internships for college students, among other things.
The Executive Leadership Foundation’s case competition was sponsored by ExxonMobil (XOM) and judged by a panel that included executives from companies and nonprofits, including BAE Systems (BA/), Lockheed Martin (LMT), and Merck (MRK). The finals took place on May 3 at ExxonMobil headquarters in Fairfax, Va.