Case Competition at NVCC Brings Local Business Leaders into the Classroom
Joined by special guests from José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, we facilitated a case competition with business students at Northern Virginia Community College.
After expressing an interest in observing the Real Time Cases user experience live and in person, members of the Business faculty at Northern Virginia Community College worked alongside the Curator Solutions team to design an engaging event that would connect students with local business leaders. The result was a Case Study Competition among 25 students, hosted on March 22nd at NVCC’s Manassas Campus and featuring representatives from ThinkFoodGroup — the creative team behind internationally renowned chef, José Andrés.
Following housekeeping items and brief introductions from the Curator Solutions team, Eric and Amy from ThinkFoodGroup described their roles at the company before personally inviting the students to put on their consultant hats and assist with the following challenge:
Recruiting Millennials to Carry the Mission Forward
The ThinkFoodGroup mission is to change the world through the power of food. While that means something different to each individual throughout the company, how can they utilize the mission and strong culture to attract not only customers, but also retain and enable employees to evangelize that mission and develop into the future leaders of the organization?
The students were then divided into five groups of five and — armed with a company background packet and video for added context — tasked with outlining and presenting a measurable strategy for the “client” in only 45 minutes.
Required deliverables for each team
- An identification of the ideal employee for ThinkFoodGroup.
- A definition of the millennial generation that can be used internally by the company for recruitment.
- At least three values that would be important to both the millennial generation and ThinkFoodGroup.
- A graphical representation, or some other type of presentation, of how the millennial values align with ThinkFoodGroup’s values.
Even in the limited time allotted, each team delivered thoughtful presentations founded on careful analysis and application of course concepts. Common points suggested by each of the teams included:
- The value of positive reinforcement
- The benefits of more flexible, less traditional corporate work environments
- The need to remove barriers and encourage employees to volunteer and impact the community
- The need to provide opportunities to get employees out of their comfort zone
With Eric and Amy from ThinkFoodGroup serving as judges, the winning team was chosen for their specific, actionable directives on how to recruit millennials by demonstrating the connection between the ethos of the millennial generation and that of ThinkFoodGroup — in the end, both want to make the world a better place.
The event wrapped with an open discussion among professors, students, ThinkFoodGroup, and the Curator Solutions team. The most positive student feedback revolved around the value of the opportunity to personally interact with employees from ThinkFoodGroup — students appreciated the chance to know that their ideas were received and being heard.
Prior to their departure, Eric and Amy from ThinkFoodGroup passed out business cards and invited the students to reach out with questions, further suggestions, and even to inquire about employment opportunities.
Thank you to Northern Virginia Community College for hosting such an exciting and empowering event, and thank you to ThinkFoodGroup for their willingness to personally help bridge the gap between the classroom and the professional world.
Please contact us if you’d like to bring a live business case competition to your school or institution.