A team of four high school students from the Missouri City area bested eleven teams from around the city to claim first place in the annual National Black MBA Association Houston chapter Leaders of Tomorrow Business Case Competition.
Mentored by first-time coach, Lauren Ford, a career counselor at the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer School of Business, the team members included Nasiah Richard, 10th grade; Moriah Richard, 9th grade; Madison Johnson, 9th grade, from Ridge Point High School and Charlton Riley, 11th grade from Fort Bend Christian Academy.
For ten weeks, each team analyzed Southwest Airlines’ business, from financials and business strategy to environmental impact. Each team prepared and presented their recommendations for Southwest Airlines in two rounds of judging.
“It was an experience unlike any other,” Madison Johnson said. “I felt nervous one minute, calm the next, it was like an emotional roller coaster.”
Winning the competition yielded many benefits for the team. Charlton Riley stated, “I am very excited about our win. All of our hard work on weekends and late nights paid off in the end.” Moriah Richard learned “it’s okay to be nervous and that speaking in front of people isn’t as terrifying as it seems, and that I can speak better than I thought.”
Coaches share in the excitement as well. “Although I was shocked that we won, I knew that the team was prepared, their solutions were well thought out, and that they presented with confidence,” said LOT coach Lauren Ford. “I’m really proud of the team.”
The NBMBAA Leaders of Tomorrow program mission is to prepare African American high school students for transformative leadership in college, careers, and community. It provides mentors who coach students in college preparation, academic success, leadership, public speaking, social engagement, networking, and goal setting to develop discipline, set and achieve high academic standards, and serve their communities.
The LOT National Business Case Competition prepares students to analyze an MBA-level graduate school business case and present recommendations before panels of senior corporate executives and business school faculty. In the process, they master advanced math, critical thinking, analytical, writing, research, and public speaking skills.
Judges evaluate participants not as high school students, but with the same level of objectivity they would use when evaluating a graduate student or a potential professional consultant.
Since 2002, the LOT National Business Case Competition has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships and programming support. λ