A proposal for a Microsoft give-back plan that allows consumers to donate toward a community service organization won the grand prize in the Notre Dame MBA Mini Deep-Dive Challenge. As part of the award, John Leahey of Chicago will receive a $25,000 fellowship toward tuition upon successfully matriculating into the Notre Dame MBA program.
The Challenge is a virtual case competition that gives prospective students a snapshot of the b-school experience, where students take on real-life issues faced by Fortune 100 companies and provide innovative, workable solutions. The Challenge asks participants to submit one-page summaries of their best ideas. These are then reviewed by the company’s executives. More than 925 people registered for the online competition, which launched Oct. 3 and was open to the public.
The Microsoft-sponsored case asked participants to create a marketing plan focusing on education and technology that increased the engagement between Microsoft stores and their local communities. Second-place was awarded to Sarah Barkow of Minnetonka, Minn., for her proposal for a Microsoft competition for high school students; Kathryn McGeough of Devon, UK, won third place for her version of a customer-loyalty card.
A previous Deep-Dive Challenge held in January 2011 featured a sustainability case sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, manufacturer of the Keurig coffee makers.