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Team of UCLA students wins Boeing case competition

Jared Edy (far right) presented undergraduate students (from left to right) Bach Dang, Jennifer Sheriff, Yousif Kurdi, and Spencer Graham-Thille a plaque for winning the Boeing USC vs. UCLA Case competition.
(Courtesy of Lin Young)

By Samantha Tomilowitz

May 15, 2014 2:54 p.m.

The original version of this article contained an error and has been changed. See the bottom of the article for additional information.

The world’s largest aerospace company recognized a team of UCLA students Wednesday for winning the 2014 Boeing USC vs. UCLA Case Competition for the second year in a row.

The UCLA team was comprised of four undergraduate students, who applied individually for the finance-driven competition, which focused on the commercial satellite services market this year.

In the competition, students applied finance, market research and global strategy skills to an aerospace industry-inspired business case. The competition was meant to give students the opportunity to gain experience with case studies and form connections with members of the Boeing Company.

The USC Operations Management Association and the Marshall Business Student Government hosted the competition. The Marshall Business Student Government is the primary link between business students and the administration at the USC Marshall School of Business, according to their website.

The Undergraduate Business Council meeting is organized by Partnership UCLA and the UCLA Career Center, said Lin Young, associate director of Partnership UCLA. Boeing worked with the UCLA Career Center and Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity, to put on the competition. NBCUniversal also sponsored the event at Young’s request, said Kyle Clark, NBCUniversal spokesman. 

Jared Edy, a financial analyst in networking space business at Boeing and a co-lead for the UCLA team, presented a plaque to the students at the event.

“For this team specifically, their financial recommendations, knowledge of the commercial satellite market and how they managed their risk launch strategy presentation for the judges really sealed the deal for their victory,” Edy said.

Some members of the UCLA team said they applied to the competition for both personal reasons and to gain career experience.

Jennifer Sheriff, a third-year business economics and mechanical engineering student, said she saw the competition as a chance for her to demonstrate her understanding of satellite companies.

“I’ve worked for two satellite companies before, so one thing I could contribute was how to make our launch failure plan more robust,” Sheriff said.

Spencer Graham-Thille, a third-year statistics student, said he recently developed an interest in business strategy and wanted to try his hands at solving cases related to the field.

“Winning this competition has been a big confidence boost since this is my first experience doing business strategy,” Graham-Thille said. “It taught me I’m good at it.”

The UCLA team will receive security clearance for an exclusive satellite tour with Boeing El Segundo, have lunch with Boeing executives and get their names on the Boeing Case Competition trophy plaque.

Compiled by Samantha Tomilowitz, Bruin contributor.

Correction: The Undergraduate Business Council meeting is organized by Partnership UCLA and the UCLA Career Center. Boeing worked with the UCLA Career Center and Alpha Kappa Psi to put on the competition. NBCUniversal also sponsored the event.

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