Internal Case Competition

Over the past week the cohort competed in an internal case competition, specifically the Aspen Institute Business & Society Case Competition. Teams of four students were given 72 hours to prepare a through analysis of the case to address the issues presented.  The competition gave us the chance to deal with a real-life business issue in a time sensitive situation.
After the initial report, teams presented to a panel of local judges on their recommendations for the company. The winning team of Ronna Pratt, Katherine Greer, Liis Kullerkann and Matthew Rodgers will represent Duquesne in the international competition. Congratulations to the winners and good luck in the next round!​

Last Day for Up to Us Pledge to Address the National Debt


THe team of Jacob, Dan, Jamie, Nayan and Peter at the TacoBoutDebt event.

Duquesne’s Net Impact has advanced to the finals in a national competition to raise awareness about the national debt and we’re only a few pledges shy of national recognition and prize money.   

There is still time to sign the pledge.  Go here and keep Duquesne at the top of the leaderboard!
Last week, Duquesne MBA students kicked off our “TacoBoutDebt” campaign with free tacos for students who signed the pledge.  Many students were surprised by the debt per person of $56,600, that all of us have inherited.  As one student remarked, “If this is the financial situation of our country, are we still the greatest nation in the world?”
Congratulations to Jamie, Peter, Jacob, Dan and Nayan on a great event!



Our team advanced to the next round of the Net Impact “Up to Us” Competition!  They will design and run a campus campaign to raise awareness about the national debt during the first quarter of 2015. The competition is partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative University and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.


The team of students (from left to right) Daniel Kriger, Peter Arnoldt, Jamie Valeriano, Jacob Bethem, and Nayan Joyappa.

Introducing the 2014-2015 sMBA Cohort!

On August 18, the new MBA Sustainability cohort gathered for the first time to begin our weeklong orientation. We hit the ground running with a case competition, professional presentations, simulations and networking.

To start the week off, we did a team building activity. No one expected to be building with Legos in an MBA program, but that is exactly what we did. We had to design a new product and give an elevator pitch about it to the group.


Vani, Jacob, Patrick, Elise and Gina work on their toy concept during orientation

We had many executive speakers from the Pittsburgh area, including Matt Mehalik from Sustainable Pittsburgh, Bill O’Rourke from ALCOA and Anita Brattina from All Facilities Group.

On Thursday, we broke up into groups for a case competition, a first for many students with backgrounds in liberal arts, science and engineering. Everyone enjoyed getting to know their group and working through a real world problem.


Clare and Derek work on the case competition.


Students used the new team rooms where the tables also serve as a writing surface



Nayan, Phil and Gina discuss their team strategy for the case competition.


Vani discusses the team’s strategy while Ronna makes notes for their team presentation.


Caitlin, Liis and Catherine discuss their group presentation during the case competition.

After the case competition, we went outside to enjoy a barbecue and do a resource allocation simulation with Dr. Sroufe.


Derek and Patrick discuss strategy for the resource allocation simulation.


Caitlin, Zach and Catherine discuss their team’s strategy during the simulation.


We wrapped up an exciting week with an alumni panel featuring Dana McTighe, Alison Etheridge, Laura Troup, Ryan Baptiste, Steve Opar, Rudy Molero, and Nick Monzo. They shared their favorite MBA memories and talked about their preparation for roles in project management, purchasing, supply chain, finance, engineering and brand management with PNC, Heinz, BNY Mellon, FedEx, a healthcare provider and a social entrepreneur.

The various perspectives that each student brought made for interesting discussion throughout the week. There is a lot to learn in a short period, and everyone is excited to begin this exciting journey!

Duquesne team places 2nd at international case competition

Four of my classmates —  Alison Etheridge, Jana DiSani, Laura Monahan, and Stephen Sumpter — had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2014.

The team placed second in the “Business for a Better World” case competition. The MBA competition kicked off in October when 28 teams from around the world submitted solutions for Suncor, an energy company, to improve environmental, social, governance and financial performance.  To advance to the final round, our team then prepared a 25-page paper in just 17 days!  Duquesne was one of three finalist teams to earn an expense-paid trip to Switzerland to deliver a 10-minute presentation before judges, including the global managing director of McKinsey, the corporate sustainability leader of Ernst & Young and the managing director of the World Economic Forum.

Participating in a case competition is one of many extracurricular activities available to all students in the MBA Sustainability program.

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Allegheny County Department of Human Services Case Competition

In mid-October four students in our cohort participated in the annual Allegheny County Department of Human Services Case Competition. Graduate students from universities across the city in various disciplines participated, and the Donahue School of Business was the only business program represented in the competition.

The year’s competition focused on the development of the next generation of the work force. The question they sought out to answer was “How can DHS attract, develop, and maintain a well prepared and effective work force in the years to come?”

We are very proud that one of our students, Stephen Sumpter, was part of a team selected for the final round of presentations and finished in second place. The team included two students from Carnegie Mellon University, and a student from the University of Pittsburgh.

The proposed solution included working with the Pittsburgh Promise to promote careers in human services to local graduate choosing to attend college in the Pittsburgh area. Students would then apply for a position in a program dubbed “The Pittsburgh Promise Pipeline” and work to complete a two year internship program and potentially qualify for placement at DHS following graduation.