News Release

Business Students travel to 2017 Harvard Global Case Competition

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Five University of Minnesota Crookston students from the Business Department recently participated in the 2017 Harvard Global Case Competition, culminating in a trip to the Harvard University in early April. More than 125 participant teams came from top universities from all over the world to compete and networkstudents at harvard at the event sponsored by the Harvard Extension Business Society.

Members of the U of M Crookston team included Adam Burgess a senior majoring in international business from Mora, Minn.; Tori Hill, a sophomore majoring in accounting from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; Chase Knickerbocker, a sophomore majoring in finance from Annandale, Minn.; Michelle Bialac, a senior majoring in manufacturing management from West Lafayette, Ind.; Zhiwei Xu, a senior majoring in business from Zhejiang, China. Burgess and Bialac served as the team’s co-captains. They were advised by faculty members Rutherford Johnson, Craig Miller, Oxana Wieland, and Abdulaziz Ahmed.

The students received a case in February consisting of a business scenario with an open ending. They then had to determine what they would do, applying what they have learned in several classes. They were on a tight schedule, as there was only two weeks to generate a solution - and the UMC undergraduates were largely competing against graduate students. 

During the event at Harvard in April, the U of M Crookston team watched the 10 finalists give their presentations at the Harvard Medical School campus live in front of judges, who were senior business executives. The high-intensity weekend included a networking reception and a formal gala where U of M Crookston students networked not only with other students from around the world, but with CEOs and other executives from top global corporations. They also had the opportunity to participate in a Global Leadership Conference sponsored by the Harvard Graduate Council and to attend a keynote address by a leading professor of the Harvard Business School. 

This is the first year that the University of Minnesota Crookston has participated in the case competition, and the U of M Crookston team was the only one representing the University of Minnesota. It was not only a great opportunity to take knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real-world situations, it was an outstanding occasion for the students to network with leading executives and students from other excellent universities. 

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo, left to right, are Rutherford Cd. Johnson, Adam Burgess, Craig Miller, Tori Hill, Abdulaziz Ahmed, Zhiwei Xu, Chase Knickerbocker, and Michelle Bialac in the conference center at Harvard Medical School, venue of the finalist presentations.


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations


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