Mount St. Michael Academy High School Team Cracks College Level Business Case

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A team of Mount St. Michael Academy students worked on a college level business case to win the first Stonehill Challenge, sponsored by Mount alum Michael Mullen ‘76, Assistant Professor of Business at Stonehill College in Easton, MA, and students from Stonehill’s Mu Omega chapter of Beta Alpha Psi National Honor Society for Accounting Majors.

Back, l to r:   Principal Bro. Steve Schlitte, Niall McGeever '14,  Matthew Barrett '15, Sam Oliver '14, Markony Mora '14, Corey Seton '15 and Professor Michael Mullen '76

In front, l to r: Keith Ignacio '14, Julie Androshick Boyle, Kymberly Knoph

A team of Mount St. Michael Academy students worked on a college level business case to win the first Stonehill Challenge, sponsored by Mount alum Michael Mullen ‘76, Assistant Professor of Business at Stonehill College in Easton, MA, and students from Stonehill’s Mu Omega chapter of Beta Alpha Psi National Honor Society for Accounting Majors.

Mullen and Mu Omega member Kymberly Knoph traveled from Massachusetts to present the award to the Mount students on Tuesday, May 28, along with framed plaques and a check for $500 for the Mount.

The Mount team competed against "Team Red Sox," from a Boston, MA high school. Juniors Keith Ignacio, Sam Oliver, Markony Mora and Niall McGeever and Sophomores Donovan Salmon, Matthew Barrett and Kory Seaton put in about 20 hours outside of class and a whole lot of brain muscle during the 7 days they worked on the case study: the fate of the cash-strapped brother-sister owned Kodiak Bear Lodge in Alaska.

The Challenge was for the team to research, analyze and problem solve the case and then offer realistic suggestions to the owners: sell the lodge, bring in an investor, or keep their business and make it work.

The Kodiak Bear Lodge case was created by alum Michael Mullen '76, an Assistant Professor of Business at Stonehill College in Easton, MA. Mullen's students from Stonehill's Mu Omega chapter of Beta Alpha Psi National Honor Society for Accounting Majors also helped design the case as part of their submission for the 2013 Ernst and Young Diversity Award Challenge. Their task: show the everyday applications of the accounting profession so that high school students in highly diverse regions would be aware of the potential skills they already have if they want to pursue studies in the accounting and finance professions.

The Mount team cleverly split the elements of the case among them into quantitative and qualitative work streams. The "challenge" was squarely on the shoulders of the Mount's "Team Yankees." Keith and Sam created an income model in excel, while Matthew, Kory, Donovan and Niall worked on analyzing the pros and cons of any decision that the Lodge owners would make. Mark Mora wrote up the entire case, synthesizing the research from all of the team members.

Students in Beta Alpha Psi at Stonehill acted as consultants to the team via Skype video meetings but only for direction and support, while they were coached on the Mount side by Development Director Julie Androshick Boyle, whose background includes a specialization in business consulting and an expertise in strategic communications.

Says Mullen, "What the Mount does in educating students from a grounded perspective gives students the tools to tackle the demands and rigor of a college level business curriculum. The whole point is to make students aware of the dynamics of a business curriculum. The Mount's high level focus in math, history, science and especially written and oral communications are the underpinnings for success in college and beyond."

Mullen is hoping to expand the challenge next year to more high schools in the northeast and possibly nationally if the idea gets picked up by other chpaters of Beta Alpha Psi.

Below is the notification letter from Stonehill:

Congratulations! Your "Team Yankees" of Mount St. Michael Academy have won the 2013 Stonehill Challenge. The senior faculty of the Business Adminishation Department of Stonehill College independently reviewed your case submission.

The judges felt that your submission was very well written, well thought through and insightful. I must share with you that there were some concerns expressed internally that this case study may be too difficult for high school students. Well, you hit it out of the park" and proved them wrong.

In fact, our depatment chair, Professor Debra Salvucci, was so impressed that she has committed the department to paying your application fee in the event you decide to submit an application for admission to Stonehill College. As a Mount grad, I hope you do!

In the coming week so myself, representatives of Mu Omega and an alumni from Stonehill currently in the field of accounting will visit the Mount to present to you, your team mates and the Mount an award bearing your names, a certificate to you recognizing your achievement and a donation on Mu Omega's behalf to support the outstanding level of academics at the Mount.

I look forward to meeting you in person. Until then, please share the good news with your friends and family. This is a terrific achievement!

Sincerely,
Michael G.
Mullen, CFA

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Julie Androshick
Mount Saint Michael Academy
718 515 6400 268
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