University of Pittsburgh

Inaugural Katz Invitational Held

On February 8, the inaugural Katz Invitational Case Competition was held at Mervis Hall, with MBA teams participating from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper), Penn State (Smeal), Case Western Reserve (Weatherhead), Buffalo, and University of Pittsburgh (Katz).

The competition focused on the energy industry; specifically, the technological progress, regulation, and broad issues and challenges that have created an atmosphere of intense competition. The cross-functional case competition tested the ability of teams to apply knowledge of finance, marketing, operations, and human capital concepts.

The winning team, which received $4,000, was the University at Buffalo School of Management. The students were Mark Bortz, Chris Maugans, Ryan McGraw, and Michelle Piaia. Second place and a prize of $2,000 went to the Katz team of Ram Parameshwar, Fabio Saccà, Sanjay Singh, and Thy-Diep Ta. A second Katz team also participated, composed of students Vinay Deshpande, Christopher Lyons, Anand Sharma, andHimanshu Taranekar.

The case was structured so that steams tackled real-world problems my putting concepts and strategies into action. They presented their findings to an esteemed panel of judges with extensive industry experience. The judges were Theresa Z. Bone, vice president and corporate controller of EQT Corporation; Michael Latsko, vice president of product strategy in the Nuclear Power Plant Business and Project Development area of Westinghouse Electric Company; Branden P. Moore, an associate with McGuire Woods; and David S. Ortiz, a senior engineer, policy analyst at RAND Corporation, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Assistant Dean of MBA Programs Tim Robison, who spent more than 30 years in the banking and finance industry before joining Katz, says that the Katz Invitational is an extension of the experience-based learning culture that permeates Katz.  In the case competition, students received their case in the morning, spent the afternoon developing recommendations, and presented to judges in the late afternoon-early evening.

"I know from experience that competition is the name of the game in the business world. To be successful, you need talent, but also integrity, creativity, sophistication, and the interpersonal skills to collaborate and thrive on a team," Robison says.

For more information on the case competition's students, visit HERE