Graduate Case Writing Competition Grows

Dr. Ivy (third from right) and Dr. McGuire (second from right) with students at the Case Writing Workshop.

The 2014 graduate students’ journey in consulting case writing experience is almost over: twenty-eight students submitted their cases for review judging, representing nine different master’s degree programs: Leadership, Project Management, Digital Media, Nonprofit Management, Education, Corporate and Organizational Communications, Global Studies and International Relations, Regulatory Affairs, and Global Leadership (together with Swinburne University of Technology in Australia).

Leadership faculty member Julia Ivy, PhD, reports on the progress and success of the competition, month by month:

January 2014: Student Outreach across the College

Julia Ivy together with the College of Professional Studies communications team reached out to master’s degree students and faculty members with an invitation to be involved in the consulting case writing experience.

Forty-three students started this journey: twenty-three students have been admitted to the Case Writing Workshop with Julia Ivy based on their motivation and case proposals, and twenty students worked on their cases within regular courses with Mary Thompson-Jones, Nancy Pawlyshyn, and Barbara Mitchell as instructors.

February – March 2014: Case Writing Experience

Students worked on their cases in stages. Stage 1 “Preparation” included watching the video “Preparation for the case,” choosing the organization for consulting, obtaining Informed Consent (if relevant), and conducting primary background research. By the end of this stage, students submitted request for consulting/revised case proposals – documents that clearly defined the client dilemma and request for consulting. Each student who submitted a revised case proposal was invited to the workshop with Dr. Stephen McGuire, Management Professor, California State University, and received personalized feedback from Julia Ivy or their instructors.

In Stage 2 “Case Investigation and Writing the Case,” students watched the video “Writing the case” and worked on their cases. By the end of Stage 2, students submitted their cases – a report on a challenge that a decision maker faced in a work-related operation, as well as on the industry and regional background of that challenge. Each student who submitted a case, was assigned a mentor – a College of Professional Studies full-time or part time faculty member, staff member, or a member of the Boston business community – to receive assistance in case analysis.

In Stage 3, “Searching for Case Solution – Writing a Consulting Report,” students watched the video “Writing a Consulting Report” and worked with their mentors on case analysis, trying to implement concepts they learned in their programs in a real-life scenario. By the end of Stage 3, they prepared a Consulting Report that analyzed available options and recommended solutions.

April 2014: Case Review

Finally, the students took a stand of reviewers and looked at their own projects as if they were Case Writing Competition judges. The Camptasia workshop with Ivy and the video “Getting Ready for Case Submission,” together with clearly defined rubrics of the College of Professional Studies Case Review Guide, available from Julia Ivy, helped them in such a reflection. They submitted their projects on April 6 and anxiously await the judges’ decision.

The Case Writing Competition judges are a wide and diverse group of instructors and practitioners in the areas of the College’s expertise and will start their blind review next week. Each judge will be assigned two cases with the case-writer identification information removed. Winners will be announced later in the spring. If you would like to become a judge or mentor in next year’s Case Writing Competition, please contact Julia Ivy at [email protected] or 617-435-3183.