Silberman students participate in the 2016 Bayer Cup

bayer cup team

Above: The FDU team that participated in the Inaugural 2016 Bayer Cup MBA Competition — (from left to right) Eman Gabra Aziz Makar, Gerard Cleaves, Kim Catlett, Asmaa Gamie, and Romina Chinchay-Collahua. (Photo courtesy of Cleaves)

By Kaidi Ilves

Bayer HealthCare, a German company with U.S. operations headquartered in New Jersey, recently held their inaugural 2016 Bayer Cup MBA Case Competition. Out of all the business schools in the Northeast invited to submit an application, Bayer only selected five universities to attend — Boston University, Cornell, Columbia, Rutgers, and of course, Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“Our team performed well under extreme time pressure,” says Gerard Cleaves, assistant professor of management and the team’s advisor. “They were presented with a complex case on Type 2 diabetes a week before the event, which they analyzed on several levels. As the first part of the competition, they provided strategic recommendations to solve the case, and responded to questions from the judges. They were then given new information (the twist) and two hours to present a response. Consulting with outside sources, other than the public domain and consumer information, was not allowed.”

Although the FDU team did not win the competition, the case writers complimented the team’s analysis and recommendations. The Bayer Cup was a first-time experience for FDU — the University had previously never entered a business case competition, whereas the other attendants had participated in these types of events for several years. “Next time around we will select from a larger pool, and choose a more diverse team of students with experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ideally including students in the marketing, finance, pharmaceutical management and doctor of pharmacy programs,” says Cleaves.

Each university presented a team of four MBA students, ideally two first-year and two second-year students. Because of time constraints, FDU limited its team selection to those in the Pharmaceutical Management MBA program. The second-year students selected were Kim Catlett and Romina Chinchay-Collahua, both of whom have substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The first-year students selected were Asmaa Gamie and Eman Gabra Aziz Makar.

The team was advised and coached by Cleaves, and they received guidance from Ann Huser, lecturer of marketing, and Steve Bear, assistant professor of management.