• Home

Three teams recognized during graduate business competition

Posted: Updated:

When Rachid Benjebbour and his teammates prepared for the University of Houston-Victoria Strategic Master of Business Administration “Best in Class” competition, they started by collecting all the data they could find.

“We looked at everything from the history of the company to its current stock value as well as retail and online sales,” Benjebbour said. “It was a lot of data to crunch, but we took the time to really sort through it and understand the company’s current status before we started to develop an analysis and plan.”

Benjebbour and his teammates were one of three teams that won “Best in Class” for the UHV School of Business Administration’s Strategic MBA capstone course “Seminar in Strategic Management.” Students in each of the course’s three sections formed teams and analyzed a real company in order to develop detailed recommendations to help it excel in current competitive environments. The teams submitted their analyses online or presented them in class.

This fall, students analyzed GameStop, a video game retail company based in Grapevine. The company sells video game hardware, physical and digital video game software, and video game accessories, as well as mobile and consumer electronics products and other merchandise. 

“For several years now, we focused on Texas-based firms, and we often look for firms in industries that are experiencing changes or challenging environments,” said Peggy Cloninger, UHV professor of management and chair of the Department of Strategy and Decision Sciences. “For example, GameStop, as a retailer, is dealing with the increase of e-commerce. It’s also dealing with new platforms such as games on phones and new innovations like virtual reality headsets.”

The “Best in Class” competition replaced the MBA Case Conference last year to help UHV graduate students who don’t live and work near the university’s locations. The three faculty members teaching the Strategic MBA capstone courses believe the team project is a critical element of the class and agreed that a “Best in Class” competition would help their students as much as a face-to-face competition.

The winning teams were: 

  • Denedra Brown-Finley and Gaurav Srivastva of Katy, Ankur Sheth of Richmond and Mina Rod of Houston
  • Rachid Benjebbour of Richmond, Amber Machacek of Victoria, Daniel Padron of Fulshear and Hunter Linn of Houston
  • Annerys Falcon-Herrera and Disengomoka Tezzo of Sugar Land, and Rafiu Olutunde of Katy 

To be successful, teams must research the company, its key competitors and the industry, Cloninger said. From that research, students need to draw upon everything they’ve learned in their classes to analyze their research and develop high-quality recommendations to help the firm capitalize on opportunities and respond to threats in a competitive environment. The final reports are 65 to 100 pages long. 

Peggy Cloninger

Peggy Cloninger

As Benjebbour’s team prepared, it was able to divide up tasks and meet weekly to review work. As the team members developed and chose the best recommendations, they compiled three to five pages of notes on each suggestion. Each member had to draw on what they learned during the previous years studying at UHV.

“We would not have done nearly as well as we did without the knowledge we gain from our previous courses,” Benjebbour said. “The project was a long process, but it helped us to see how these tools and knowledge could be applied in our careers. It’s a great program with outstanding faculty and an excellent curriculum.”

As Thanksgiving approached, Benjebbour had to visit his mother, who lives in Casablanca, Morocco, after she suffered a stroke. Even though the team was working hard to prepare for the upcoming presentation in December, that event didn’t affect the group’s performance. He was able to use the internet to maintain contact with his team and keep working on the project while he was overseas.

“There were times when it was difficult, but thank God, we were able to keep pushing and worked around the circumstances,” Benjebbour said. “We were aiming for first place, and we were eager to get there! We worked hard, and it paid off. They were an outstanding team to work with, and we are all thankful for the results.”

    • Texas News Minute

      The latest Texas news from The Associated Press
    • HTN Update: Police arrest Victoria man, seize shotgun and ammunition

      Happy Friday crossroads! I'm Newscenter 25's Amber Joseph with your Hometown News Update  The Victoria Police Department arrested a man on a burglary charge Wednesday morning. 

    • Coaches, AD react to growing college basketball corruption scandal

      According to a Yahoo Sports report Friday, players and family members allegedly received cash, entertainment and travel expenses from Andy Miller and his agency.  A balance sheet from December 2015 lists several payments under "Loan to Players," including $43,500 to Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith, who played at N.C. State last season.

    • Coast Guard interdicts lancha crews illegally fishing US waters

      CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted Mexican lancha boat crews engaged in illegal fishing in federal waters off southern Texas, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Coast Guard crews stopped two lanchas with a total of ten Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing. The lanchas and 584 red snapper, totaling 2,814 lbs, were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing. “...
    • Victoria Police investigating crash; driver ran off

      Around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning. Victoria Police found a vehicle crashed into a pillar near the Victoria Mall. The driver was no where to be found. Authorities said it happened near Zac Lentz Parkway and Salem Road.  Officers checked with local hospitals to see if the driver needed care. 
    • Pet of the Week

      The Dorothy O'Connor Pet Adoption Center showcased two pets that need a forever home.  Ribbons is a charcoal Retriever, Lab, Terrier. She is five-months-old.  Our cat this week is Oliver. He is almost two-years-old. A small domestic short hair.  Click here for more.  Here's more on DOCPAC: Dorothy Hanna O’Connor Dorothy Hanna O’Connor (1907-1992), Victoria’s preeminent caregiver of dogs and cats, established Six Flags Humane Society in 1963 ...
    • Gov. Abbott Commutes Death Sentence Of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker

      AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today issued a proclamation commuting the death sentence of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker following a unanimous decision by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Thomas Bartlett Whitaker will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole. Governor Abbott released the following statement: “As a former trial court judge, Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General involved in prosecuting some of the most ...
    • Early voting numbers February 23

      REPUBLICAN Early voters in person today 263 Total early voters in person to date 750 Total ballots by mail requested to date 1300 Total ballots returned to date 733 Total early voters to date 1483 

    • GenTx Find Your Way to Pay Day

      As graduation season approaches, most seniors anticipate college. But money can often be a concern.  Victoria College, and the University of Houston-Victoria are partnering with gen-tex, to bring a free event to educate students and parents. 

    • Coast Guard, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi sign Memorandum of Agreement

      CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi officials signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding cooperation in education and recruiting efforts Tuesday. Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, Eighth Coast Guard District commander, signed the MOA with Dr. Kelly M. Quintanilla, president and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The agreement optimizes outreach and engagement for the Coast Guard’s recruiting efforts while assisting A&M-Corpus C...
Current Conditions