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MBA students bring home first-place in energy competition

UCLA Competition winning UNC Kenan-Flagler Team 2021

A team of MBA students from UNC Kenan-Flagler won first place in the 2021 UCLA Challenges in Energy Case Competition.

This is the second straight year that a UNC Kenan-Flagler team won the energy competition.

The winning team members are Anthony Miner (MBA ’21) and Josh Haswell, John MacAree, Eric Schwartz and Rose Telus, all members of the Class of 2022.

The case, sponsored by Southern California Edison, challenged students to develop a business plan for a ventures division of an incumbent energy player. They needed to create a new business line that is profitable and addresses social and environmental justice, focusing on the triple bottom line.

“With our team’s unique mix of talent, we developed a business plan in four days that focused on leveraging renewable energy to support marginalized communities,” said Haswell.

UCLA Competition winning UNC Kenan-Flagler Team 2021 on ZoomUnlike past years past, the team couldn’t travel to Los Angeles for the Feb. 25 competition because of the pandemic. Instead they presented via Zoom throughout the day-long competition.

During round one UNC Kenan-Flagler’s team competed against 10 other teams, representing the top energy MBA programs throughout the U.S. In the next round, they were selected alongside teams from Dartmouth, Duke and Virginia to move onto the finals.

Before the final round, there was a “twist” in the case and the teams had only a few hours to adjust their presentations and incorporate new information. After the finals, the winners were announced at a networking reception.

“It was an absolute pleasure working with four first-year MBAs as part of this competition” says Miner. “They have worked really hard throughout this pandemic, so it was great seeing their efforts rewarded by leveraging their diverse experiences and learnings at UNC Kenan-Flagler to bring home the win.”

“Our MBA Energy concentration teaches students the energy value chain and the importance of blending both technical and financial acumen to be successful in the business of energy” said Stephen Arbogast, director of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Energy Center and professor of the practice of finance. “In case competitions, energy practitioners engage with students in a different way than the interview process and can witness the students’ abilities firsthand. Our team winning this competition shows they are prepared to excel as future energy leaders.”

The team is looking forward to the chance for UNC Kenan-Flagler to three-peat in 2022. “This was really fun guys, I’m glad we did this,” said Telus.