Class of 2010: Applying Skills
On the night of November 6, 2008, most of the first-year Yale SOM class gathered in the GM Room to consider the problem of how a chocolate-producing company, namely Cadbury, should respond to the revelation that child slave labor was being used in the cocoa fields of Cote d’Ivoire. Working in groups of four, the participants in the First Year Case Competition, organized by the Yale SOM chapter of Net Impact and the Yale SOM Consulting Club, had just a few hours to formulate a broad strategy for addressing supply chain issues, while balancing economic considerations with questions of social responsibility.
Each team produced a presentation of their solution by the end of the night. Five finalists were then selected to present their ideas the next morning to a panel of judges, consisting of SOM professor Fiona Scott Morton, as well as representatives of the two consulting companies that cosponsored the event, Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte Consulting, and second-year students.
The team that came out on top called themselves the "Problem Killers." The team was made up of Catherine Swick, Randi Wiggins, Arjun Reddy, and Jessica Modrall.
Listen to an audio interview with the Problem Killers, as they discuss their approach to this complex challenge and how their studies to date in the Yale integrated MBA curriculum informed their thinking.
The "Cadbury" case study used in the competition was written by Sumana Chatterjee ’08 and Jaan Elias, the director of case study research at Yale SOM. You can read the case online (pdf), or learn more about Chatterjee’s background as a reporter investigating the use of forced labor in the chocolate industry.