A team of four Cleveland State University MBA students from the Nance College of Business Administration placed fourth in a national competition sponsored by KeyBank to expand their consumer banking unit. Cleveland State also received the Best Presenter Award. The CSU team placed behind Indiana University, Carnegie Mellon University and The Ohio State University.
The Cleveland State team placed ahead of at least 12 teams from respected, highly ranked MBA programs across the nation, including those at Howard University, Purdue University, Syracuse University, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Case Western Reserve University, Rice University, University of Chicago and University of Texas at Dallas.
The 2008 KeyBank Minority MBA Student Case Competition was held in cooperation with The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business at KeyBank’s headquarters, Key Tower in Cleveland. This year, KeyBank wanted help with expanding their consumer banking unit, called Key Community Banking. The bank asked the teams for near- and long-term strategies, identifying ways in which the line of business can grow revenue in high growth markets where Key has a low density branch presence as well as support efforts to grow in low growth, low density markets.
The Cleveland State team consisted of Martha Muhammad, Celestine Ilori, Elizabeth Tsai and Marvin Warner. They proposed a three-pronged strategy of mergers and acquisitions in the Southwest, partnering with retail partners for on-site banking centers in stores such as Target and Whole Foods, and expanding on-line banking.
“We are proud of the performance of our MBA students in the KeyBank Case Competition. Their ability to analyze real-world business problems and develop effective plans to solve those problems is evident from the outcome of the competition," said Robert Scherer, Ph.D., Dean of the Nance College of Business.
The team’s recommendations were based on data obtained from KeyBank annual reports, the FDIC, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Census Bureau and CSU Library databases. Assistant professor of marketing Elad Granot was the team advisor; all team members attended his marketing classes, in which he stresses the importance of working on real-world cases as opposed to textbook theories. This type of engaged learning experience throughout the MBA program played an important role in the team’s success in the competition.
# # #