ORLANDO, Fla. (May 1, 2017) – At the start of this semester’s 2017 Spring Capstone class, 900 UCF College of Business seniors broke into 180 teams to tackle a problem for corporate partner Verizon. On Friday, only 24 teams remained in the semifinal round of the Great Capstone Case Competition.
And when the clock struck 3:15 p.m., the last team standing was C-DECK Consulting and their recommendation for Verizon to acquire a company to help them expand into telematics— the technology of sending/receiving, gathering, tracking and analyzing data over long-distances for remote objects, such as vehicles, via telecommunications devices. Their innovative idea and well-prepared presentation earned the top spot and trophy for C-DECK’s Corey D’Angelo (Finance), Derek Smedley (Finance), Edward Calderin (Finance), Courtney Bresnock (Finance/Real Estate) and Kelly Wilkinson (Marketing).
The Great Capstone Case Competition is a part of UCF College of Business’s final coursework for students, and it is designed to help business students strengthen their analytic, communication, presentation and teamwork skills beyond the classroom by developing strategic recommendations for real-world business issues. There is more than just a grade on the line; teams compete for $5,000 in prizes, thanks to sponsor Verizon.
“Verizon has a strong core of UCF alumni in our Lake Mary finance center and it has been our pleasure to sponsor the 2017 Great Capstone Case Competition,” said Monty Garett, Senior Vice President at Verizon. “We were so impressed by the poise, confidence and creativity of the students participating in the competition! It was a real challenge to choose winners from among so many deserving contestants. The Capstone experience has certainly reinforced Verizon’s desire to recruit our future generations of finance leaders from the UCF College of Business.”
The C-DECK teammates cited teamwork and preparation as the keys to their victory. Each one of them knew not only their part of the presentation but their teammates’ as well.
“None of us knew each other at the start of the semester but in a sense we became a family,” team spokesman D’Angelo said. “We started working together early in the semester, and I think that gave us a jump on the competition. It helped that we took an unconventional approach and acted as though we were a real consulting firm.”
Wanting to represent each member equally, D’Angelo said their team moniker comes from the first letter of each teammate’s first name – Corey-Derek Edward Courtney Kelly (C-DECK) Consulting.
“I think they really got the point of being a consulting company and not just a group of students,” said C-DECK’s faculty advisor Reka Lassu.
“The final day of the Great Capstone Case Competition really is my favorite day of the semester when I get to see our top student teams put their work to the test in front of industry leaders and experts like our partners from Verizon,” said Marshall Schminke, Ph.D., management professor and faculty lead of this spring’s Capstone class. “For the finalists to get a chance to pitch their ideas to executives from Verizon is an invaluable experience as they set out in their careers.”
After a semester of working together as a team, students present their plan to faculty who select the teams that will compete in the competition. During the semifinal round, students presented to management faculty, alumni of the UCF EMBA program and Verizon leaders. For this Capstone Case Competition, students were given a business situation from Verizon and asked to create a solution or plan that would benefit the company.
About UCF College of Business
Established in 1968, the UCF College of Business offers degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and executive levels. All programs, as well as the Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting are accredited by AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The college provides high-quality academic programs designed to give students a competitive advantage in the world of business now and in the future. Learn more at business.ucf.edu.