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Saturday, January 22, 2022

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Cougars dominate case competition


Team members Raj Baskaran, Kim Phan, Iryna Mckenzie and Trey Bhutta took first place in the 2012 Rice MBA Marketing Case Competition.  |  Courtesy of Jessica Navarro

Team members Raj Baskaran, Kim Phan, Iryna Mckenzie and Trey Bhutta took first place in the 2012 Rice MBA Marketing Case Competition. | Courtesy of Jessica Navarro

University of Houston students brought home the gold in the 2012 Rice MBA Marketing Case Competition.

The team competed with eight other teams from around the state including Rice University and University of Texas.

Team members Raj Baskaran, Kim Phan, Trey Bhutta and Iryna McKenzie had only 12 hours to prepare for the presentation.

“The group did know that Cameron was the sponsor and the case was most likely related to their operations,” Baskaran said. “So the extent of our research was to look at the company website, marketing and annual reports.”

The team’s goal was to do well and gain experience, but they were also hoping to finish in the top three.

“Heading into the competition, I felt confident in my team as well as the qualifications that each member brought with them,” Phan said.

“With the marketing knowledge I attained through my MBA career as well as my undergrad, I felt that we were prepared competitively.”

After scrapping their original idea shortly after midnight, the team could not finish by their original goal of 3:30 a.m. Some teammates took an hour-long nap, while others were forced to go home, freshen up and battle commuter traffic back to Rice in the morning.

“I brushed my teeth and slept at the same time, it felt like,” Phan said.

With a bachelor’s degree in finance, Bhutta seeks an MBA in the same field. Baskaran received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering and is studying finance for an MBA, while McKenzie is studying accounting. Phan is the only marketing MBA team member.

“UH’s MBA program has been so enriching for me,” Phan said. “My personal goal going into the competition was to display the knowledge and insight that I gained from my educational tenure at UH and apply it to the best of my knowledge to the competition.”

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