For the third consecutive year, FIU College of Business’ Healthcare MBA team captured first place in the SFHEF Annual Leadership Case Competition.
The competition is sponsored by the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, the regional chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Congratulations to team members Marria Janjua, Zailyn Rodriguez and Jesus Diaz, and their coach, FIU Business Professor Paulo Gomes.
After the competition, student team members reflected on an experience that yielded profound lessons, personally and professionally.
I wanted to challenge myself within an unfamiliar area while working within a team to form solutions.
I expected to have a high level of expert and team collaboration as we developed innovative solutions to the case scenario.
Initially the experience was scary because it was an unknown. As we prepared our presentation, it underwent many revisions across several late nights. On the day of the case competition, we were both excited and nervous. Through encouragement and motivation, we were able to power through our fears and deliver a superior performance which earned us first place!
The week after the competition was bittersweet, because I was able to recall both my shortcomings and successes during the presentation. On the day the SFHEF announced the winner, they did so after a two-hour educational program. For me, this was special because the educational program was held where I work, and many of my colleagues and executives were in attendance.
The moment just before they announced the winner, I remember thinking, why am I so nervous? We did awesome and we are absolutely the winners! Shortly after, that vision was realized.
I learned that working within a team can be difficult at times, but as long as you communicate effectively, remain professional, and are open to adopting solutions that aren’t your own, things usually work out in the end!
I strengthened my interpersonal communication skills while also being able to develop my ability to trust other team members. These two elements are crucial while working within a team environment.
The Case Competition provided an avenue to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone.
The HCMBA program equipped us with presentation, writing, and case dissection skills–and the competition allowed us to showcase our new skills in front of healthcare leaders.
Professor Paulo Gomes provided our team with a great deal of support, providing invaluable feedback and dedicating late nights to assure our solution and presentation was immaculate. He introduced us to additional mentors who offered advice, and relentlessly assured us that our team would come out victorious.
Our team worked as a cohesive group and capitalized on each other’s backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. We rehearsed for hours and provided each other with the encouragement needed to flourish.
Having completed the presentation, the three of us felt a wave of accomplishment overcome us. The case competition proved that with persistence, determination, and a well-rounded team, success is attainable.
The SFHEF case competition was an opportunity to come out of my shell to showcase analytical, presentation, and public speaking skills. It was an extraordinary challenge for an individual more adept in developing business strategies behind closed doors with a white board as an audience.
Luckily, our team was composed of highly ambitious and competitive students who would accept nothing other than first place. Our team dedicated extensive hours dissecting all details of the case, researching and deciphering best strategies.
The night before the competition our team and Professor Paulo Gomes were diligently fine tuning details until 2 a.m. The day of the competition, there was a mutual feeling of nervousness amongst all team members. We were last to present and used our time productively, practicing our presentation until it flowed effortlessly.
The experience taught me a valuable lesson: the ability to work cohesively under pressure and stress. As a team, we never faltered in our conviction to present the most comprehensive data and solution to our panel of judges.
When the competition ended, we felt as though we had given the best version of ourselves on the stage. As we walked off the stage, an overwhelming feeling of pride for all our hard work washed over us.
The experience has gifted me a different perspective on my abilities to not only develop strategies but present them in a way that are both concise and impactful. I am forever grateful for this experience and will return to the feeling felt as we walked off the stage that day whenever self-doubt arises in the future.