Skip to main content


Undergraduate Strategy Development Competition

Case-based learning offers students the chance to explore a real business issue and discuss how they would manage the situation. Traditionally, cases are reviewed with hindsight. The Foster School partners with Seattle’s thriving and innovative business community to develop forward-looking, customized cases centered on a current strategic issue. This required capstone course, Strategic Business Management (MGMT 430), taken during one quarter of senior year, positions student teams in front of executives to make formal presentations on their recommendations.

During the course of the case students will:

  • Develop team and leadership skills.
  • Perform diligent market research and landscape analysis.
  • Practice with professional business communications.
  • Hone executive-level presentation skills.
  • Operate in a real-world business environment with deliverables, time constraints and strategic implications.

Past Businesses and Strategic Case Issues:

“The most rewarding aspect of making our pitch to the Customer Innovations team at Alaska Airlines was having the opportunity to apply all of the skills we have developed in the Foster School in a professional setting. My most valuable learning was how to make a concise presentation that still packs a “punch. ” Since time is so valuable in the professional world, it is important to learn how to thoroughly deliver an impactful idea in a short amount of time.”
– Kenneth Thompson (BA 2014)

“The most valuable part of the case competition was being able to work on a real-life business problem with my peers. It was also great experience presenting in front of company’s executives. What I learned from this case is that business wants a solution they understand and can implement. My team’s solution understood the business needs and provided them with a plan that they could implement in a short amount of time.”
– Cara Haass (BA 2014)

“Being able to think on your feet about questions asked and being able to back up your ideas with concrete numbers and analysis in order to answer questions (was a key learning).”
– Erin Hoffinger (BA 2014)

“The most valuable part of the case competition was gaining experience presenting to professionals and compiling a recommendation to be proud of. Working with my team was also valuable in that it gave me lots of first-hand experience in team building. (I learned how to work effectively) with my team and focus on the task at hand while remembering to keep things light-hearted – doing so is key to success.”
– Julia Kuhn (BA 2014)

“I was so impressed with the level of preparation and the depth of knowledge from all of the presenters. Not only was it a joy to see all the creative and well-constructed ideas from the student groups, we took away some valuable insights around the customer perception of our programs and offerings. Working with UW to organize the Amazon case competition was easy and required only a little time invested in brainstorming ideas and data sources. The UW team wrote a thorough case which gave the students a strong foundation in the Amazon business, culture and philosophy which they integrated into their presentations. We look forward to participating in the UW case competition again.”
– Jeanne Barrueta, Amazon, Retail Operations and Initiatives, Grocery

“The collaboration between Seattle City Light and the University of Washington in this case study demonstrates the value of working together. The students got hands-on experience with research, decision-making and presenting their proposals while the utility received fresh ideas from some of the people who will be most affected by the answers we find for the challenges solar development presents.”
– Seattle City Light Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bishop

“As a company able to work with the Foster School to create a case, it was a refreshing opportunity to have our business looked at from the viewpoints of passionate students. As a judge, it was an extremely meaningful and relevant way for me to connect with the next generation workforce.”
– Fred Hennige, Innovation Architect – Alaska Airlines

“The level of engagement…exceeded our expectations and left us longing for more opportunity to hear and see the students engage with our business opportunities. The energy level was fantastic and the insights into our business problem proved to be both authentic and inspirational.”
– Tom Troy, Executive Vice President of Regional Operations, West at Liberty Mutual

“When approached to be a participating company in the Strategy Development competition, it was an easy decision for us! We value the opportunity to work with students on case competition events, as it gives our business representatives exposure to future talent!
– PJ Macom, Campus Recruiter, Liberty Mutual

To get involved as a participating company:
Josina Garnham
Experiential Learning Manager
206.616.8626
josinag@uw.edu