Georgetown Teams Compete At Deloitte Case Competition
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 02:10
Students will offer solutions for federal agencies this Thursday as part of “The Battle of the Beltway,” a government business case competition sponsored by Deloitte.
Competitors will present a week’s worth of research to a panel of judges with the hope of maintaining Georgetown’s top rank from last year.
The competition consists of two rounds; in a preliminary intra-school round, nine Georgetown teams will compete for two slots in the second leg. Georgetown’s winning representatives will then compete against the top two teams from seven other East Coast universities: American University, The George Washington University, Howard University, Princeton University, the University of Richmond, Wake Forest University and the College of William and Mary.
The participants, limited to sophomores and juniors, receive a fake case based on one of Deloitte’s real cases and are given a week to put together a 25-minute presentation proposing a unique solution. The competition forces students to use both analytical and creative thinking when solving problems for different industries.
“It’s a really interesting way to think outside the box, and to be introduced to consulting, or even just problem-solving,” Alyxie Harrick (SFS ’12), federal analyst for Deloitte and co-lead for the Georgetown program of the competition, said.
Last year, a Georgetown team took first prize. Team members Christina Ling (MSB ’15), Brandon Lam (SFS ’14) and Joseph Albanese (SFS ’14) met for several hours a day during the week preceding their presentation.
“It’s very team-driven,” Ling, who will compete again this year, said. “I knew them, but I wasn’t good friends with them, and it definitely pushed us a lot closer together.”
Along with the hours spent strategizing together, Ling also chose to skip one of her midterms to participate in the competition.
“It was a rare opportunity that I wouldn’t get on campus because I go to lecture every day, I take tests every day,” Ling said. “That doesn’t really assess how good you are. It doesn’t showcase if you’re making an impact in life.”
Last year, the group spent the week researching the Drug Enforcement Agency for the first round and healthcare in East Africa for the second round.
“[These are] radically different things, yet these are both things that are handled within the same company by the same people doing it,” Albanese said.
For many students, the competition serves as their first real exposure to consulting.
“I didn’t know what consulting was when I started sophomore year,” Lam said.
Now, Lam has signed a contract with consulting firm PGA.
The competition also gives students interested in consulting as a career the opportunity to network and practice their consulting skills. Like Albanese and Lam, Alexander Keyes (MSB ’15) also hopes to become a consultant after college, and sees the competition as a way to learn more about the practice.
“I’m most looking forward to practicing, or developing the skills that consultants use on their jobs,” Keyes said.
Ling noted that there has been a recent increase in interest toward consulting among upperclassmen at Georgetown.
“For some reason, there’s been some surge of people. When you get to junior year, everyone says — if you ask any junior — I’m interested in consulting,” Ling said. “It’s like a trend. It’s like how Sperry’s are to Georgetown, or like Vineyard Vines and J. Crew [are]; consulting is the job you want to get.”