The student team from Middlesex College ham for the camera after their win.

Case competition for county college students returns to Newark

A team of seven students from Middlesex College demonstrated their knowledge of finance, marketing and supply chain management to win Rutgers Business School’s New Jersey County College Case Competition.

NJC4, as it is known, was taking place for the first time since 2019, and it was marked by a rare 4.8 earthquake in the Northeast that shook Bove Auditorium at Rutgers Business School-Newark as students from Mercer County Community College were making their presentation.

While there were some puzzled looks and a few remarks about the possible source of the trembling – “The train?” one student on the presenting team said – they were quickly followed by an acknowledgement of a reported earthquake. The competition continued, both participants, judges and a small audience unfazed.   

In addition to Middlesex and Mercer, student teams from Ocean County College, Brookdale Community College, and Hudson County Community College participated in the competition.

At Rutgers Business School-Newark, roughly 40 percent of the students enter as transfer students from county colleges in the region, said Luke Greeley, dean of the undergraduate program in Newark. The competition was started as a way of making students from county colleges more aware of the opportunities at Rutgers Business School, including the experience of applying their classroom knowledge to analyze and solve real-world business problems.

About a third of students who participated in the competitions before the Covid pandemic, enrolled in Rutgers Business School, according to Lucille Foster, the assistant dean of the undergraduate program in Newark. Yet, the event was also a way for Rutgers Business School “to be of service,” sharing its resources to provide an educational opportunity to county college students, Foster said.

Students from the winning team will be awarded $1,000 scholarships if they are admitted to Rutgers Business School. Students from Mercer County Community College, who were awarded runner-up, will be offered $500 scholarships if they decided to attend Rutgers Business School.

Bhavishya Chittala, who represented Middlesex College at NJC4, said she’s planning to continue studying finance and accounting at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick in the fall. For her, the most exciting thing about the case competition was the opportunity to demonstrate lessons learned in the classroom. “It was a great hands-on learning experience for us,” she said.

In addition to Chittala, the Middlesex College team included Charissa Albano, Marcus Ethan G. Inocencio, Kyle Morgan, Kulsoom Rasheed, Manmeet Shah Singh and Natalia E. Zamudio Lopez. The team’s mentor was Charles O’Gorman.

The teams were judged by John Impellizzeri, a professor of professional practice in supply chain management; Eric Diamond, president of GreenCastle Consulting, the nation’s largest all-veteran company; Gregory Menchu, a data strategy analyst and consultant at fintech company Fiserv; Hadia Minahill, a recent graduate of Rutgers Business School who works at Unilever as a customer replenishment planner and is part of the company’s Supply Chain Future Leaders; and Michael Pavlo, a decision analytics manager at ZS Associates and an alumnus of the Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick undergraduate program and the Rutgers MBA program.

Scenes from the competition can be viewed in the slideshow below:



NJC4 New Jersey County College Case Competition

Three students from Mercer County Community College present the details of their case during the NJC4 event.
Three members of the team from Mercer County Community College explain the details of their case.
Members of the Hudson County Community College pose at the front of Bove Auditorium at Rutgers Business School-Newark.
After their presentation, students from Hudson County Community College pose with their mentor, Elana Winslow. The college was represented by a team composed of Isabel Alvarez, Ana Cantillo-Pagan, Sanzida Chowdhury, Jake DeLuccy, Erika Dovale, Lidia Cliara Dhalia Khayrulina and Lounis McKerri.
Members of the Brookdale Community College team presenting.
Members of the Brookdale Community College team got high praise from the judges for how they handled a momentary glitch with the technology during the opening of their presentation.
Rutgers Business School alumni were among the judges of the NJC4 event. Photo shows Hadia Minahill and Michael Pavlo.
The five NJC4 judges included two Rutgers Business School alumni. Hadia Minahill, a recent graduate, is part of Unilever's Supply Chain Future Leaders Program and currently working as a customer replenishment planner. Michael Pavlo went to Rutgers Business School as an undergraduate and later completed a Rutgers MBA.
Mercer County Community College's team is pictured.
The team from Mercer County Community College was runner-up, finishing behind Middlesex. The team was composed of Marvin Jose Carajal Calix, Alexandra Margelis, Naoya Obata, Juan V. Trinidad Bermeo and Julian Alexander Richards. The team's mentor was Rubana Syed.
The team from Ocean County College is shown presenting during the NJC4 event.
The team from Ocean County College - Emer Conway, Michael DeLisi, Tyler Hermes and Melina Peiffer - make their presentation in Bove Auditorium.
The Brookdale Community College team poses with Luke Greeley, dean of the undergraduate program at Rutgers Business School-Newark.
Team members from Brookdale Community College pose with their mentor Thomas Vorbach and Luke Greeley, dean of the undergraduate program at Rutgers Business School-Newark.
Rutgers Business School alumnus Michael Pavlo with students after the completion of the case competition.
Michael Pavlo, a Rutgers Business School alumnus and one of the NJC4 judges, spends some time speaking with the county college students after the competition.
A member of the Middlesex County Community College team takes a photo of the team's award after the competition.
A student from Middlesex County Community College takes a pic of the team's award.

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