Adam Green ‘12, Yaoxin Liu ’12, Geoffrey Rosen ’12, and Ruiting “Brezeck” Wang ’14 successfully competed in this year’s prestigious Simon Graduate School’s Early Leaders Case Competition. This is the second year that students from HWS have participated. Green was a member of the third place team, earning him both bragging rights and a cash prize.
“Going in I didn’t really have high – competitive – expectations,” says Green. “I expected to have to work hard and contribute, but I also expected to learn something. I didn’t expect to place or walk away with any prize money. The latter was a really nice surprise.”
Green’s surprise stems from the fact the program is highly competitive and puts both time and social constraints on participants as they work to solve a business case problem that simulates decisions faced by business leaders around the globe. Only 50 participants are chosen from among the brightest young business minds from colleges and universities worldwide. Competitors are divided into teams of five members apiece upon arrival, and work with complete strangers to solve the case problem within 22 hours, crunching deliberation, creation of the presentation and some amount of sleep into that time.
“There was a period of confusion and distraction on our team because everybody had different ideas,” explains Wang. “When I realized that the situation was really serious, I calmed everybody down and persuaded them to work collaboratively so we could at least have a clearly structured presentation instead of a series of broken thoughts. It turned out that my suggestion let my teammates recognize the situation too. Then everything came around smoothly and we ended up with a decent result.”
This year, participants examined the IT infrastructure and point-of-sale (POS) system of fashion retailer Zara.
Green’s interest in business grew out of a desire to understand what was going on in the economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He is interested in pursuing his MBA after graduation and is currently a member of both the Investment Club and the Budget Allocation Committee.
The Colleges were instrumental to his success at the Simon Competition, he says.
“I think that the liberal arts’ holistic approach to education is a perfect complement to anyone with an interest in business/economics. The very nature of the HWS experience provides that approach,” he says.
Green is a member of the Chi Phi fraternity and works in the Hobart Deans’ Office and as a French and economics tutor.
Liu, a mathematics and economics double major, is an Economics Teaching Fellow, a math TA, a computer science lab TA, house manager for Asian Language House and the treasurer for Asian Student Union. He is also the student coordinator for Chinese for Geneva Kids program and an office assistant in both the Student Activity Center and Bristol Field House.
Rosen, an economics major and American studies minor, serves as the treasurer of the Delta Chi fraternity. He also plays on an intramural volleyball team and works for HWS Connect.
Wang, a mathematics and economics double major, is the co-founder and secretary of HWS Investment Club. He is playing intramural basketball this year and serves as a teaching assistant (TA) for calculus and programming classes.
Pre-Business Adviser and Assistant Professor of Economics Warren Hamilton, who has been involved in this venture for the past two years and served as a judge this year, has sent seven HWS students to the competition and two have received third place. All received certificates of participation for having been among the select few chosen to compete.
Hamilton has plans to increase HWS student interest in the competition so he can continue to field a team annually. He is going to create the “Early Leaders Round-table” whose sole purpose he says will be “to create campus-wide interest in the competition going forward and to provide a forum to discuss expectations for the event and promote future Hobart and William Smith student participation.”