The final case for UMaine ended in an essential draw. Up against the Aalto School of Economics of Finland, a three judge panel awarded the tie-breaking 6-5 win to Aalto. As a result Maine failed in its strong bid to make the semi-finals of this extremely difficult competition.
The UMaine team needed a win and was one of four match-ups than ended in the 6-5 circumstance. The scoring means that the judge panel split 2-1.
It was unfortunate that a regular five judge panel was not available to hear the case. Both teams had strong recommendations and presentations and based on the very positive feedback from the judges it was clear that the decision was difficult.
Maine received excellent ratings in 3 of the 7 categories (analysis, solution and Q&A) with very positive comments on the other 4, particularly presentation effectiveness. The judges comments were consistent with the feedback from other cases. Illustrative were “very good and consistent justification and recommendations; good implementation plan; very strong teamwork; good time management and communication skills; good use of slides and graphs.”
In the end, the judges’ decision hinged on a perceived level of greater detail presented by Aalto. While one could have a differing perception, such is the nature of the competition. Had Maine been on the prevailing side, it would have qualified (along with Aalto) to be one of nine teams that compete in the semi-finals.
Whatever the final score, the UMaine team finished with the university’s best record in its nine years of being represented at this international business school competition.
UMaine with a 3 win-2 loss record and 120 points, placed 2nd in its division (behind Aalto) and finished in 14th place in the competition overall.
As the team coach, I am extremely pleased that the capabilities and skills of this talented UMaine team were recognized and rewarded in the competition. They have worked long hours in preparation, retained a positive attitude under stressful circumstances, and performed at a very high level. They have well represented themselves as individuals and as outstanding examples of the quality of students from the University of Maine Business School.
To the team I add a direct and simple “thank you” for a job well done. You have earned the respect and admiration of all those from UMaine who have followed and supported your efforts.
In closing, I want to recognize and thank my colleagues, Jason Harkins and John Mahon, for their significant efforts in helping to train, prepare and guide the team. I also want to thank Jon Sorenson, Chairperson of the Maine Business School Board of Advisors, for his time and engagement with the team’s preparation.
It has truly been a team effort and I am proud to be a member of the UMaine team.