Smith MBA Students Get Right to Business with PepsiCo Challenge

umd smith pepsico

This summer, the University of Maryland R.H. Smith School of Business hosted the third annual MBA Orientation Live Case Competition, challenging almost 100 full-time MBAs to develop their first real-world business solution.

The business challenge for this year’s competition involved having students use current PepsiCo sales figures to develop a strategy for increasing revenue in wholesale markets, such as BJ’s or Costco. The challenge took place over the course of three days, during which PepsiCo delegates stayed on campus to help guide students and judge presentations.

“This competition will slingshot you into your MBA program,” said UMD Smith professor Neta Moye, who helped design the weekend’s activity. “It will ratchet up your learning curve.”

The winning team chose to focus on the promotion and expansive of healthy beverages, such as coconut water, through the success of the Naked brand of drinks. Looking at the increased trend for millennials that look for healthy options, the winning teamincluding MBA student Risky Ananda, who grew up drinking coconut water in Indonesiasupported the belief that coconut water and other healthy beverage options will only continue to increase in popularity in the U.S. and will ultimately boost revenue for companies like PepsiCo.

In addition to Ananda, the rest of the MBA team included students Rashmi Jayanth, Bianca Romano, Christopher Kearney, and Kalonji Sutherland-Madhere. These students are just a few bright new thinkers in the new Smith full-time MBA class, which is made up of 28 percent international students, 31 percent underrepresented minority students, 34 percent female students, and 13 percent current or former military veterans.

Read more about the UMD Smith PepsiCo. challenge here.

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