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Dividend Spring 2013 : Page 36

club events Chile alumni club puts Ross on prospective students’ radars by hosting a case competition The winning team poses with Erico Gomes, MBA ’10, Danilo Rodrigues, MBA ’10, Juan Carlos Altmann, MBA ’02, Andrés Haloua, MBA ’08, and Juan Pablo Undurraga, MBA ’09. Alumni rated each team’s submission, and five finalist teams presented before a panel of alumni judges. The process helped alumni reminisce about their b-school days. “We thought the competition would give people a real sense of what getting an MBA is all about,” says Undurraga. “Many of us recall case competitions as an important part of our time at Michigan.” While only a few participants had heard of the University of Michigan prior to the competition, all are now outfitted with Ross paraphernalia and have a solid understanding of the Michigan Ross MBA Program. Club members want to make it an annual event. “The best way to strengthen the Ross brand in Chile is to continue the competition,” Altmann says. “This year’s participants will tell their friends. Next year, those friends might participate, and new people will be drawn in. The Ross name will keep spreading.” The competition utilized club members’ talents, such as finessing logistics, marketing the event, and judging. “One student asked why we’re doing this, what’s in it for us,” says Altmann. “It was a way for our members to use their skills to help the school. The best way we can give back to Ross is to promote the brand.” Alumni who assisted with the competition are Juraj Vlajovic, MBA ’09 , Erico Gomes, MBA ’10 , Sebastian Domenech, MBA ’05 , Danilo Rodrigues , MBA ’10 , Patricio Muñoz, MBA ’11 , Enrique Canessa, MBA ’94, Ivan Gezan , MBA ’06, and Andrés Haloua, MBA ’08 . “Our committed alumni made this happen in a short amount of time,” Undurraga says. “We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.” —Amy Spooner Making the Case for Ross From staffing tables at information fairs to hosting alumni-prospective student receptions, alumni worldwide are valuable ambassadors for Ross. Each year, only a handful of Chileans attend Michigan Ross, so last fall the Ross Alumni Club of Chile decided to get ahead of the admissions game. They sponsored an MBA-style case competition for Chilean undergraduate students — some of whom may not have been considering an MBA yet. “Instead of trying to compete against other schools, we decided to get ahead of the curve and talk to prospective students before they’d even heard of the other schools,” says Juan Carlos Altmann, MBA ’02 , club president. The club hosted 77 top students (grouped in 19 teams) from Chile’s best business and engineering schools. For publicity, alumni relied on the club website (, print advertising on the campuses, and social media. While they offered lucrative prizes, the application process ensured the competition was filled with committed, qualified students. “We wanted quality participation and high-caliber students who someday might want to attend Ross,” says Juan Pablo Undurraga, MBA ’09 , the club’s VP of finance. Since participants had no idea what a case competition is, club members first hosted an informational meeting about the Ross School and the competition. The following week, alumni held a training session on problem solving and case resolution to teach the tools necessary to tackle the case. The teams then received the case and had two weeks to solve it. The case, which focused on car-sharing service Zipcar Inc., was written by former Ross dean Bob Dolan and selected from the WDI – Global Lens catalog. “That was a critical element of our branding,” says Altmann. “No way were we going to give the students Ross T-shirts and a case written at HBS.” Alumni teach case fundamentals to student participants. 36 DIVIDEND SPRING 2013

Alumni Activities // Club Events

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