Professor’s coaching and lead­er­ship drives team to suc­ceed year after year

For the tenth time, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion has been awarded first place at the 12th annual B-​​School Beanpot Case Analysis Com­pe­ti­tion. This is the fourth time in the multi-​​university matchup that North­eastern won the top two posi­tions. Led by Ray Kin­nunen, Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Man­age­ment at North­eastern, the team proved that hard work and excep­tional coaching trans­lates into victory.

There are many rea­sons we have been so suc­cessful,” said Peggy Fletcher, Asso­ciate Dean of the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion. “Our stu­dents are well pre­pared aca­d­e­m­i­cally and have pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence through co-​​op. They have already been exposed to a pro­fes­sional atmos­phere and know how to present. When they get up in front of an audi­ence, they are able to speak as consultants.”

Ten stu­dents – two teams of five – com­peted against two teams each from Boston Uni­ver­sity, Boston Col­lege, Babson Col­lege, Bentley Col­lege, Suf­folk Uni­ver­sity and Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology. North­eastern stu­dents prac­ticed for weeks under the tute­lage of Kin­nunen, who has led the North­eastern team since the com­pe­ti­tion was cre­ated 12 years ago. Known by his stu­dents as “Coach K,” Kinnunen’s lead­er­ship and sup­port has been cred­ited as a dri­ving force behind the con­tin­uing rep­e­ti­tion of the North­eastern team’s win­ning accomplishments.

We have demon­strated that we have top stu­dents who can com­pete against stu­dents from other applauded uni­ver­si­ties and win,” said Kin­nunen. “We have devel­oped a won­derful tra­di­tion of win­ning which helps our stu­dents come psy­cho­log­i­cally pre­pared, wanting to con­tinue this tradition.”

Teams battle the clock and each other to develop the best solu­tion to a cur­rent busi­ness issue during the 12-​​hour event. Much like the name­sake hockey tour­na­ment, the B-​​School Beanpot show­cases stu­dents’ tal­ents in an intense com­pe­ti­tion. During the pre­lim­i­nary round, two teams from each school assume the role of con­sul­tants and develop pro­posals to the case. A panel of 12 cor­po­rate exec­u­tives review the written analyses and decide which four teams advance to the final round where the four chosen teams give a pre­sen­ta­tion to the judges.

Our suc­cess can be attrib­uted to the prepa­ra­tion that we put into this com­pe­ti­tion which started with Coach K, who spent hours helping us prac­tice and learn,” said team member Cory Ren­zella. “His goal was to win, and nobody is better at it than him. It was his training, com­bined with a lot of hard work and will­ing­ness to improve, that allowed us to be suc­cessful on game day.”

Team­mate Amanda O’Brien agreed. “Beanpot is about believing in your­self, your team, the people who offer you advice, and of course Coach K. I look for­ward to my role as a Beanpot alumna, cheering on future teams and helping them to realize their full potential.”

On April 12, stu­dents will com­pete in the 2008 North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Col­lege of Busi­ness Internal Busi­ness Case Com­pe­ti­tion. The ini­tia­tive, mod­eled after the Beanpot and devel­oped by Kin­nunen, will pro­vide North­eastern stu­dents another expe­ri­ence to hone their ana­lyt­ical, critical-​​thinking and pre­sen­ta­tion skills by taking their course work from the class­room to a com­pet­i­tive arena.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact Samantha Fodrowski at 617–373-5427 or at s.​fodrowski@​neu.​edu.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.