Setting Sail for Success: The Class of 2023 Kicks Off Their First Case Competition

For the third year in a row, the consulting faculty of Kenan Flagler Business School have introduced structured problem solving to fresh-faced students by integrating a real business problem into an intense 24-hour case competition. This year, students got to excitedly set sail with Royal Caribbean Group as they worked to craft recommendations for new revenue growth opportunities.

The competition kicked off late Thursday morning as the crowd of 250+ students received the case prompt from RCG CEO Jason Liberty, himself a Tarheel and graduate of UNC Kenan Flagler’s MBA program. As Jason revealed the details of the case, the atmosphere in the auditorium became electric as the teams began to buzz with ideas and excitement.

Following the brief, the teams took to their study rooms and immediately began whiteboarding and brainstorming together. Although some teams took an early lead on idea generation, it soon became clear that creativity wasn’t the only thing the teams needed on their side to beat the competition.

The 48 teams were ultimately judged by a panel of faculty, many of whom are seasoned practitioners, and TAs, who are returning to top-tier firms in 2024. The presentations were judged based on professional presence, creativity of the idea, the teams ability to structure a cohesive and logical story, and their ability to support assertions with hard data.

Despite the wealth of creative and memorable presentations, Dogwood 3 and Azalea 6 stood out from the rest and were selected to present their proposals to the entire class of 2025 – plus one very special guest – Lauren Lozano, Assistant Vice President of Audit and Advisory Services at RCG.

Although the competition was fierce (and not always smooth sailing) for all the teams involved, the class of 2025 walked away from the competition with a deeper understanding of how managers and thought-leaders tackle difficult problems and size opportunities in the market.

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