The Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) MBA student team was almost unstoppable yet again at the 37th John Molson MBA International Case Competition (ICC)
in Canada. The team reached the semi-finals for the second consecutive
year plus, the team's coach Hagop Panossian won the top coaching award.
teams from 19 countries took the stage in front of a global audience to
participate in a round-robin tournament held from January 1-6, 2018.
The OSB team, comprised of Hiba Chehade, Jessica Abou Jaoude, Raghid
Abdul Khalek, Karmah Chehaitly, Rif El Zein, and Raghid Abdul Khalek
(alternate), was the divisional leader after five consecutive wins and
went undefeated until a loss in the semi-finals.
“We are proud of
yet another stellar performance from our graduate students in
international competition," said Steve Harvey, dean of OSB. “This is a
unique learning experience for these students, and one that reconfirms
that the highest caliber of students graduate from our business programs
by Concordia University in Montreal, the competition draws teams from
the world's top business schools to evaluate real-world business cases.
With no access to the Internet, the teams had to develop solutions and
present their cases to a panel of judges on this year's theme of
business ownership. The cases encompassed a wide variety of subjects
including entrepreneurship, corporate governance, inter-generational
transition, acquisitions, divestitures, and many more.
case competitions provide students the opportunity to take their
education beyond the classroom. “This competition taught me how to
tackle current challenges facing businesses worldwide and exposed me to
different perspectives from teams with diverse backgrounds," explained team member Chehade.
member Abou Jaoude is thankful for this learning opportunity to combine
both theory and practice, adding that “the competition was a fulfilling experience that included challenges, team bonding, and multicultural connections."
El Zein, it was: “One amazing experience, a whirlwind of emotions,
multiple lessons learned, international connections and new friendships
that I will vividly remember and cherish down the road when I look back
at my time at AUB."
Karmah pointed out that the knowledge and
skill set gained from the training sessions and competition were
remarkable. “To say the least, interacting with others from around the
world was insightful and made me realize and experience how each person
can add a different perspective to the same table," she said.
team was coached by Hagop Panossian and Dr. Mai Daher along with
contributions from Dr. Assem Saffiedine, Dr. Ahmad Ismail, Tarek
Kettaneh and MBA students Narine Bolghourjian and Matt Trotter.
Panossian, who has been coaching OSB teams for the past two years,
received the Dr. J. Pierre Brunet Coach Award. This prestigious award
recognizes the important contribution that coaches make to both prepare
teams for months prior to the competition and guide students during the
Panossian has been teaching management and
strategy courses at OSB for the past seventeen years and has taken six
teams to competitions around the world. “My love for solving business
cases comes from a combination of my academic career and experience as a
co-owner and manager of my family business," explains Panossian. His
teams last year won the 2017 University of Munster International Case
Competition in Germany; second place at the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific
Business Case Competition in Hong Kong, and made the semifinals at the
36th John Molson MBA International Case Competition in Canada.
OSB, the infrastructure for competing in business case competitions was
built from scratch. We learned fast and today our students are
considered top competitors among the world's best business schools,"