UT Haslam’s Case Team Wins 2023 International Business Case Competition

May 3, 2023

A team of students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business recently placed first in the 11th Northeastern University CUIBE International Business Case Competition in Boston. Haslam students Alexandra Ashmore, senior in supply chain management and human resources management; Sean Fritts, senior in accounting and finance; Joe Kato, senior in accounting and information management; and Nathan Rowlett, senior in accounting and international business, beat out a field of 10 other teams to win the event. Teams from the University of Oklahoma and Illinois State University placed second and third, respectively.

“With this win, I feel that we have put the University of Tennessee on a lot of people’s radar and positioned this team for lots of success in the future, which I am really excited to see when I graduate,” Rowlett said.

CUIBE International Business Case Competition: Showcasing Skills and Meeting Prominent Business Leaders

The Consortium of Undergraduate International Business Education (CUIBE) is a group of academic institutions with undergraduate international business programs working to facilitate best practices in international business education. The CUIBE case competitions challenge students to showcase international business knowledge and hone analytical thinking, critical thinking and presentation skills. The competitions also allow students to apply lessons from the classroom in a competitive setting while offering the chance to network with students and coaches from other business schools.

For this competition, Vestas, a Denmark-based company that manufactures wind turbines, provided the business case. The teams were tasked with analyzing the problem and making strategic recommendations to Vestas for sustainability, growth and supply chain optimization in the wind-based renewable energy sector.

“I greatly enjoy case competitions because they allow us to meet students from other universities and understand how their experiences have differed from ours at Haslam,” Kato said. “Also, it is an incredible opportunity to meet extremely impressive professionals that serve as judges and to take notes from their professional experience.”

The panel of judges for the competition included the following distinguished business representatives: Bárbara del Castillo, consul for trade and tourism, Consulate General of Mexico in Boston; Heather O’Brian, FutureLinks International, Boston/Singapore (former UN); Thorben Beckman, Schlenk Metal Foils & battery community, North & South America (German-American Business Council, Young Professionals steering committee); Daniela Becker, Amazon web services, GABC Young Professional, co-chair; Leslie Griffin, Allinea LLC & Women in International Trade; Rich Hawke, British American Business Council of New England Treasurer & Hawke Commercial Filmmaker; Joyce Lee, head of client engagement team, Aperian Global; Simon Mueller, Co-founder & CEO Mantaro Brands (former BCG), Siddharta Pant, analyst, portfolio implementation, Acadian Asset Management; and Kerstin Sjoberg, Swedish Business Council of greater Boston outreach & fundraising.

Haslam Students Successfully Applying Academic Experience

Eddie Armbrister, assistant department head and lecturer in the Department of Marketing, who served as the team’s coach, was thrilled about the outcome.

“Our team excelled in both presentations and during the Q&A with two different judging panels,” Armbrister said. “The judges were impressed with the thoroughness, level of detail, feasibility and professionalism of our team’s recommendations and presentation. Congratulations to Alexandra, Joe, Nathan and Sean on their impressive performance.”

Sara Easler, assistant dean for International Programs and Partnerships, said the team’s achievement reflects the progress Haslam has made in providing students with academic and real-world experiences to take on international business.

“This [international business] case team is a great example of that — they are successfully competing at a high level and against the strongest of contenders,” Easler said. “To say that this team and their [international business] peers are ready to tackle the global challenges of the workforce is something I can do with confidence. We are so proud of how they delivered on this case and represented Haslam!”

About Haslam’s International Business Program

Haslam’s International Business Program prepares students to guide organizations as they deal with complex, cross-border political, legal, economic, social and financial issues. Through course work, international programs, study abroad and hands-on experiences, students in the program will develop the knowledge and specialized skills to offer companies a worldwide perspective that allows them to succeed in the current and developing global business environment.


Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, rmcnutt4@utk.edu