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March 26: Tepper School MBAs Mentor City High Students on Winning Business Strategies


Geof Becker                       

Tepper School MBAs Mentor City High
Students on Winning Business Strategies

PITTSBURGH—Approximately 50 MBA students from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University will team up with 150 10th-graders from City High, a downtown Pittsburgh charter school, on Friday, March 28, to guide them through a rite of passage familiar to business students: the business case competition.
Now in its fifth year, the event challenges students from City High to spend a day developing competing business plans. Tepper School MBA students will work with the high school teams as both mentors and hosts. This year's competition involves developing strategy for a video game company.
"A lot of us realize it's important to give back to the community," explains Darren Sabom, a second-year Tepper School student and Community Outreach Coordinator for the school's MBA class. "We're pretty lucky to be getting a great education in business school."
The event began when City High was only two years old. Tepper School alumnus Eddy Jones, who was then an MBA student, volunteered with the school, which emphasizes career readiness for inner-city teens. He came up with the idea of helping students learn how to prepare for a business case competition, a standard activity for most MBAs.
"It opens up educational and career windows that they may have never thought of before," says City High teacher Maureen Anderson of the high school students. "Working with someone who is young, highly educated and continuing their education has a really powerful impact."
Past competitions used fictitious firms, but this year students will compete to develop strategy for a real company. The City High students will be looking at a software platform from Etcetera Edutainment, a Pittsburgh-based company headed by Carnegie Mellon alumnus Jessica Trybus.
Sabom says teams of 10 students will have a chance to develop a marketing strategy for an interactive game that they will play during the day. Each team will present their strategy to a panel of judges from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Tepper School.

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