Here’s every case study that you will read in business school

By: Nitesh Srivastava

Pseudonym Inc.’s headquarters in Anytown, USA. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Many classes in the Notre Dame MBA program (as well as other MBA programs) involve reading and analyzing case studies. For those of you not familiar with case studies, they often look like this:

INTRODUCTION

John Smith, CEO of Pseudonym Inc., stared out his office window on a Friday morning. He had just gotten off the phone with someone who had conveyed a really dire business problem to him. Would Pseudonym Inc. go bankrupt? Do CEOs actually stare out the window every time they get a phone call?

BACKGROUND

Pseudonym Inc. was founded in the 1970s by Steve Gobs. It had a breakthrough product in the 1980s with the Banana II personal toaster oven. In the 2000s, it revolutionized the personal toaster oven category with the jPod and the jPhone, which fit in consumers’ pockets and allowed them to heat up individual nachos or small handfuls of chestnuts on the go. This poorly disguised company history will be of no help in solving the case.  Continue reading “Here’s every case study that you will read in business school”

How much for a sandwich? An over-complicated analysis

By: Jack Pelzer

An Excel screenshot courtesy of the author

I was recently forwarded a USA Today article from my mother (which is generally how I get news of the outside world). The piece was entitled “How much for a sandwich? Try $90,000 in lost savings”. Here’s the link:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2017/06/08/small-savings-add-up/102558824/

This story grabbed my attention for a number of reasons. First, as an MBA candidate, I feel it is my duty to verify the present value of future cash flows. Second, I am a connoisseur of fine sandwiches.

Continue reading “How much for a sandwich? An over-complicated analysis”

The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 2

By: Nitesh Srivastava

Artist’s rendering of the Battle for Team Room 143, the geopolitical repercussions of which are still being felt throughout Mendoza today. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

In the Notre Dame MBA program, students have exclusive access to team rooms in the Mendoza building where they can work on group projects together. Given the high demand for these rooms and the relatively low supply, the fight for these rooms often reduces students to their basest instincts. These are their stories.

Read Part I here.

After much politicking and the deployment of a complex pulley system, my friend Bill and I had claimed a team room so we could work on our marketing project. Unfortunately, I dozed off during my shift guarding the door. When I woke up and peeked through the window in the door, a horde of entrepreneurship students had amassed outside the room.

“Bill, I need your help!” I cried heroically.

“Just a minute. I’m close to a breakthrough,” Bill said as he entered really, really complex marketing formulas into an Excel spreadsheet.  Continue reading “The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 2”

The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 1

By: Nitesh Srivastava

Team rooms in Mendoza are worth their weight in gold. (Photo courtesy Nitesh Srivastava)

In the Notre Dame MBA program, students have exclusive access to team rooms in the Mendoza building where they can work on group projects together. Given the high demand for these rooms and the relatively low supply, the fight for these rooms often reduces students to their basest instincts. These are their stories.

I needed to work with my friend Bill on a marketing project the other day, but all the team rooms were occupied. “No worries,” I told Bill. “Many of these rooms only have one student in them, in clear violation of the rules. As Notre Dame MBA candidates, we will use our newfound persuasive communication skills to convince them to leave. Follow me.” I opened the door to the closest team room and said hello.  Continue reading “The war for team rooms in Mendoza, part 1”