EWMBA Team Shines in Columbia Competition

In between working full time, school, and in some cases raising children, a team of evening and weekend students placed first in a negotiations case and second in an entrepreneurial pitch to take second overall in an international MBA competition at Columbia Business School March 25 and 26.

Berkeley-Haas was the only team composed of part-time students of the 16 schools invited to participate in the Odyssey Global MBA Competition, whose theme was emerging markets. The Berkeley-Haas team consisted of Ravi Banda, Bhawna Sapra, Rishi Sharma, Uday Tennety, and Manish Verma, all MBA 13.

London Business School came in first overall, but the Berkeley MBA team topped such schools as INSEAD and Tuck. In addition to standing out as the only part-time students, Berkeley-Haas was the only team with no management consulting experience, Sapra noted.

In the entrepreneurial pitch, which asked teams to develop an innovative idea targeting the bottom of the economic pyramid, the team pitched a waste management service for slums in developing countries. For the negotiations competition, half the team took on CEIBS China and half took on Tuck, with their average scores placing them in front.

Tennety says a number of students on the Berkeley MBA team benefitted from Leadership Development Series workshops on managerial decision-making and power and influence.

"We worked together as a team under tight deadlines. As always, the pressure to perform well and live up to Haas standards made us go that extra mile,” says Tennety, adding that that a Columbia organizer commented on the team’s reflection of the school’s defining principle: Confidence without Attitude. “That was great,” says Tennety.

The Berkeley MBA Odyssey team (from l. to r.): Ravi Banda, Manish Verma, Rishi Sharma, Uday Tennety, and Bhawna Sapra, all MBA 13.