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St. Thomas University Gus Machado College of Business Wins KeyBank Minority MBA Case Competition

For the second time in five years, a team of Master of Business Administration students at St. Thomas University’s School of Business won first place honors in the 15th Annual 2019 KeyBank Foundation Minority MBA Case Competition at KeyBank headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.

STU students Kylie Braeseke, Andrea Soto Bueno, and Juan Zambrano won for excellence in their overall development and presentation of a never-before-used case topic that addressed real business issues with varied implications: “Developing Small Dollar Lending/Deposit Advance Product.”

Twenty-eight teams from prominent schools across the country, including the University of Miami, the University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University, competed for the top prize of $10,000. The three-person teams were evaluated on quality of presentation, creativity of strategy recommendation, and effectiveness of a Q&A session. The one-day, two-round competition was judged by executives from KeyBank.

Business school professor Dr. Jose Rocha, who leads a team of MBA students every year to this competition, attributed the team’s success to their thorough dedication, preparation, and STU education.

“We competed with the nation’s brightest business minds, and won; which is a testament to the high caliber education and leadership skills taught at St. Thomas,” said Rocha. We graduate students that are truly prepared to handle real-life business situations.”

Soto Bueno ’15, who graduates in May, said both her undergraduate and graduate education at STU, and her professors facilitated the team’s win.

“This was an amazing experience in which my education, and all of my MBA professors at St. Thomas played an important role in preparing for the competition,” said Soto Bueno. “We are proud to be Bobcats, and to be bringing this prestigious award home!”

The competition, sponsored by KeyBank and coordinated by Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, took place on Feb. 22-24. The KeyBank Minority MBA Case Competition is designed to give MBA students an opportunity to develop important professional skills such as analyzing and responding quickly to complex business issues, while learning from the expertise of business executive judges and moderators.

Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $135 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally.

Marlen Lebish

Author Marlen Lebish

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