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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Case competition winners From left: Su Bin Park, Kavya Patchipulusu, Jack Marshall and Cameron Overton

    From left: Su Bin Park, Kavya Patchipulusu, Jack Marshall and Cameron Overton

Besting 12 global universities

Moore School student organization wins first place in European case competition

A Moore School team recently placed No. 1 in the Norwegian NHH International Case Competition in Bergen, Norway. 

The Gamecocks bested 11 other international universities to finish No.1 in the competition. The USC team included Cameron Overton, ’25 finance; Kavya Patchipulusu, ’24 USC public health, minor in business administration and data science; Su Bin Park, ’24 marketing and operations and supply chain; and Jack Marshall, ’24 finance and operations and supply chain.

The competition was hosted by the Norwegian School of Economics and was sponsored by Reitan Retail, as well as Bain and Company; each of the entities’ representatives served on the esteemed panel of judges for the event.

Representing 12 total institutions, competitors were tasked on their first day with an initial five-hour case to devise an expansion strategy for the Norwegian climate tech company, 7Analytics, in the Asian market. 

After securing a commendable second place spot in the first round, the USC team qualified for a higher seed in the next case, which had to be solved and presented to judges over the span of 24 hours. 

The case was based on Reitan Retail’s intention to cut their emissions across their entire organization 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. Students were asked to examine the operations of REMA 1000, a key grocery store chain under Reitan Retail, and create solutions for the company that would help improve their sustainability without losing market share.

“As someone accustomed to having approximately a week to work on the case in previous competitions, the drastic reduction in the time frame presented a significant hurdle,” said Park, also in the SC Honors College alongside her two Moore School majors. “The complexity of the case, combined with the tight timeline, made it a real test of our team's abilities.”

Amidst adversity, the team utilized their unique talents to collectively address solutions to the challenge.

“When creating a solution to the case, the entire team worked together to bounce ideas back and forth and challenge ideas to ensure viability,” said Overton, also a Finance Scholar in the Moore School. “My teammates were responsible for coming up with several great ways to address the issue, and my role was primarily to ensure the financial viability of the solution and also how to emphasize the importance of our solution aligning with Retain Retail’s values.”

Patchipulusu said she focused primarily on marketing strategies, idea generation and presentation skills during the competition.

“I was awarded the best speaker award out of the 12 finalists — an award I was incredibly grateful to receive,” she said.

Park said she used her operations and supply chain and marketing expertise to conduct data analysis, strategy implementation and overall presentation execution.

The team agreed they were able to finish in the top spot due in part to the “invaluable” guidance from their faculty advisor, Patrick DeMouy, management senior instructor for the Moore School.

“Professor DeMouy held several sessions with our team to conduct industry research, create frameworks for problem solving and prepare extensively for solving any case that came our way,” said Overton.

Patchipulusu further commended their professor’s commitment to prepare them for their first international case competition.

“DeMouy was instrumental in our success in Norway,” she said. “Beyond the basics of how to tell a story, he very much encouraged an answer-first approach.”

The management senior instructor said that his team “answered the bell.” DeMouy also mentioned that the best thing about the competition was when the judges told his students that several of the solutions the Gamecocks shared will soon be implemented by Reitan Retail based on the team’s “impressive” presentation.

“The USC team developed a comprehensive solution that answered all of the judge's questions and even some the judge's had not thought of before their presentation,” DeMouy emphasized.

Beyond DeMouy’s guidance, the team credited much of their success in the international case competition to involvement in Moore School programs and clubs.

“The technical financial skills I have been able to develop thorough the Finance Scholars program have allowed me to consistently contribute to case competition teams, and without the program, the quality of our projections would be far from the current level,” Overton said. “Alpha Kappa Psi and the Gamecock Consulting Club have afforded me countless public speaking opportunities and have helped to foster a skill that not only contributed to success in this competition but will also in my career as well.”

Park said the Gamecock Consulting Club has allowed her to cultivate “crucial skills” like problem-solving, effective teamwork and meeting tight deadlines.

“Through various leadership positions, engagements, and participation in case competitions, I gained the experience and expertise necessary for success in the competition in Norway,” she said.

The USC team was also able to learn and connect with students from around the world in what they deemed an ‘eye-opening and fulfilling experience.’

“We learned not just about Norway but also Denmark, Hong Kong, Hungary and many other countries where teams originated from,” Overton said. “These students taught me so much simply through our day-to-day interactions, and I could not be more grateful for having met them.”

When recounting the competition, the teammates expressed their gratitude for one another in combining their diverse perspectives and their varying levels of expertise in the five-day event.

“I learned so much from my team this week, and we were able to show a balanced solution beautifully,” Patchipulusu said. “My team was made up of genuinely good people who pushed me to learn and have fun throughout the week.”

The case competition team plans to take this unique experience — competing and interacting with international universities — back to Columbia to enhance their current classrooms and their future communities.

-Peyton Palazzo

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.