Executive Panel

Information regarding the Executive Panel Case Competition that is the capstone experience to the first year of the Penn State Smeal MBA program.

Executive Panel has been a rite of passage for Penn State Smeal MBA students for years. The capstone case competition requires analytical, communication, and leadership skills, encapsulating the breadth of instruction from the entire first year of the program.

As part of the competition, student teams are presented with a modern business case at the beginning of the week. Several days later, they present their case assessments and recommended strategies to a panel of judges. High performing teams then advance to a final round and present to a panel of senior alumni and corporate partners.

Recent examples of Executive Panel cases include:

  • A study of train transportation in the United States spurred by the crash of a commuter train in Connecticut that closed a section of track considered among the busiest in the country. Can rail, with all of its inherent advantages to other modes of transportation, overcome the obstacles an aging and complex system presents?
  • A study of Yum! Brands and how, in a little more than a decade, it derived the majority of its operating profits from the stores it operates in China instead of the United States. The company has expanded into other established and emerging markets. Which countries deserve Yum!’s attention, and what emphasis should the leadership team place on Yum!’s different brands?