Published: March 4, 2019


Have you ever wanted to compete in CESR’s Business Ethics Case Competition but didn’t know where to start? Look no further - we are here to help you through the process!

About the Competition

Designed to challenge undergraduate students to apply their values to real-world ethical dilemmas, the Business Ethics Case Competition is an interactive way to deepen students’ understanding of the importance of business ethics. Sponsored by Tim Borden, a pioneering force in the development of ethics within corporate governance, the BECC gives out $6,000 to the first place team, $3,000 to second place, $1,000 to third place, and $500 to each runner-up team.

Competition Timeline 2019

March 15th | Registration Deadline

March 21st | Preliminary Case Released

April 5th | Preliminary Competition

April 5th | Final Case Released

April 12th* | Championship Presentations

April 17th | Champions Present at Center Showcase

*We understand there is a scheduling conflict with the Sophomore Summit. Please contact us so that we can help work around this.

Getting Started

Step one - find a team! Teams should have 4-6 members, but if you only have a few, BECC managers will assign additional participants. Aim for representation from every grade level, and an array of different majors.

CESR Blog“When a team is comprised of different years and majors, there is an opportunity for the team to think more expansively about the case and to be more creative in the solution because every team member brings a unique perspective to the table. No matter a student’s year, everyone has valuable experiences that may affect how the team approaches a case. Diverse ideas prevent groupthink and allows the team to analyze a case from multiple angles.”

- Hayley Porter (middle), Junior, previous winner

The First Round

Getting started is always scary, but it is also exciting! Think about all of the experiences that you can bring into this competition - World of Business, Ethics Mod, BASE, extra-curriculars, internships, and more.

Once the case is released on March 21st, you will have 2 weeks to tackle the case before turning in slide decks (April 4th) and presenting on April 5th. Although it seems like plenty of time, be sure to set up lots of time to work with your team. Consider important details such as:

  • Defining the problem

  • Stakeholders impacted

  • Financials

  • Drawbacks of your solution

  • Alternative courses of action

Presentation Deliverables

In addition to a 15 minute presentation, you will need to complete a slide deck to complement your spoken argument, plus prepare for 10 minutes of Q/A from the judges. While 25 minutes in front of the judges sounds like a lot, it is much easier if you have practiced presenting in front of audiences. Try inviting some friends to see you do a practice run. The more times you can run through the presentation with your team, the better!

CESR Blog“Keep your slides concise and avoid clip art! Choose a theme with contrasting colors so your text stands out against the background color. For presentations, it helps to know the material well enough that you don't need a "script" and could present both your information and your colleague's.”

- Katie Torres (left), Sophomore, previous winner

The Final Round

If your team makes it to the final round, you will face the additional challenge of a shorter turnaround time. The final case will be released after the preliminary round and teams will have just 1 week to compile a solution and presentation. Although this might be daunting, this is when time management becomes crucial and the late night study room epiphanies come to play! You can do it!

CESR Blog“The ability to produce two presentations with a short turnaround time depends on the team’s synergy and dynamics. During the preliminary round, it is important to learn each team member’s strengths so when it comes time for the second round, the team already knows how to approach a case effectively and efficiently. Despite the short amount of time, teams who have established a strong dynamic can focus on the case versus learning how to work together well.”

- Hayley Porter, Junior, previous winner

Ready to sign up?

Be sure to register before March 15th! Remember, you do not need a full team to participate — you can even sign up by yourself and be assigned to another team!

Register for the competition