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Capstone Case Competition Team Sails Away with Top Prize

Attention to detail proved to be the winning formula for team Smooth Sailing Consulting at the Great Capstone Case Competition at UCF College of Business Administration on Friday. From an informed presentation that showed a strong understanding of the MasterCraft boating brand all the way to the brochure they created for their proposed “elite luxury yacht” sub-brand, Team SSC captivated the judges, including MasterCraft president & CEO Terry McNew.

“I’m very impressed with your willingness to understand the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis and opportunities,” said McNew, a 1986 graduate of the college who will be inducted into the UCF Business Hall of Fame in February. “All three finalist teams’ thought process was really good. I personally gleaned a little bit from each group, so I’m taking notes to bring back to MasterCraft.”

The Great Capstone Case Competition is a part of the college’s final coursework for students and 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. 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.

There is more than just a grade on the line; teams compete for $5,000 in scholarship money, thanks to sponsor MasterCraft.

SSC teammates Taylor Anderson, an accounting major, finance major Ryan Jennis, business major Julia Martinez, and marketing majors Maria “Lexie” Robles and Brandon Sterling earned $2,500 with their first-place finish in the semester-ending contest. The Knights Analysts Inc. tandem of Christopher Leonard (accounting) and Scott Nelson (management) earned $1,750 with a second-place finish. The Landmark team of Kelly Basila (management), Eric Buckhalt (integrated business), Collin Hill (real estate), Mya Madeux (management) and Caleb Williams (accounting) took third for $1,250.

“I really think the key to our victory was in the details,” SSC team spokeswoman Robles said. “We really spent time considering MasterCraft’s branding” when proposing to create a sub-brand of a new elite luxury yacht.

Their management instructor agreed with that assessment.

“SSC impressed me at the midterm with their industry analysis,” management instructor Carl Blencke said, noting the team went the extra mile and met with him again the week before the competition for additional coaching. “Not only was their content good but their visuals were outstanding.”