MBA Students Diagnose Better Career Paths for Physicians in Case Competition

Five Berkeley MBA students who outlined a bold plan to motivate physicians in a teaching hospital claimed second prize in the National MBA Human Capital Case Competition at Vanderbilt’s Owen School Oct. 29.

Full-time MBA students Francisco de Carvalho and Lorenzo Cirio (visiting from the London School of Economics), both MBA 12, and Robert Bogolub, Jessica Felts, and Bundit Praditsuktavorn, all MBA 13, beat out nine teams, including Columbia and Cornell, for honors in the competition. Thirty-five teams applied for eleven competitor spots.

This was the Haas School’s first foray into this competition. Bogolub said the students' participation was sparked by their greater appreciation of the importance of people to well-functioning organizations, gleaned from their Leading People course. Applying lessons on motivation, the team built its proposal around the theme of Align, Assist, and Advocate to address a case that asked how to keep non-tenured clinicians motivated in a university hospital where much of the emphasis is on teaching and research.

Our suggested solution included redesigning the promotional track and requirements for clinicians. Instead of emphasizing a research-driven tenure track, we wanted clinicians to be promoted based on their clinical work.

The team also proposed that these doctors receive assistance in the form of mentorship programs, career conferences, and advocacy through an alumni program that would connect employees with opportunities at other hospitals. The idea was to provide motivation and build the reputation of the case hospital as a “talent factory.”

Bogolub says the judges (from GE and Deloitte’s human capital practice) liked the boldness of the plan and notes that having former consultants on the team ─ de Carvalho and Cirio ─ made for a highly polished presentation.

While UNC Chapel Hill took first place, Bogolub notes that Berkeley-Haas was one of the few teams making their debut in this competition, making for “an excellent showing right out of the gate.” The team took home $3,000 and some new Nashville-honed line-dancing skills.

Berkeley MBA winners of the Human Capital Case Competition (l. to r., back row) with Vanderbilt student Shannon Lindgren (front): Francisco de Carvalho, Bundit Praditsuktavorn, Robert Bogolub, Lorenzo Cirio, and Jessica Felts.