BYU students win national Chinese business case competition

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Three students helped establish BYU as a leader in the Chinese business field by winning the Marriott School’s Chinese business case competition for the third consecutive year.

Winners of the Chinese Business Case Competition. L-R Braden Nielson, Jace Stoker and Chad Faulkner. Photo courtesy Dr. Shu Pei Wang.
Winners of the Chinese Business Case Competition. Left to right: Braden Nielson, Jace Stoker and Chad Faulkner. (Photo courtesy Whitmore Global Management Center, Marriott School of Management)

Held on Nov. 8, the competition challenged students to present a business case in Chinese before judges who evaluated their language skills, cultural awareness and overall business-related knowledge. BYU competed against schools such as Notre Dame, the University of Washington, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Indiana University, Arizona State University and the University of Connecticut, and BYU came out first.

Chad Faulkner, a 23-year-old economics major and member of the winning team, said, “It feels great to be able to represent BYU’s Chinese program and let other universities know that we have one of the nation’s leading programs.”

The event held business case competitions for Spanish and Portuguese students as well. The Chinese team is the only team to win the competition for three years in a row.

“Our students are extremely competent and fluent in Chinese, and the judges see that,” said Dr. Shu Pei Wang, associate teaching professor of Chinese. “These students aren’t native speakers, but the judges can see that they are very confident in their skills.”

Judges for the Chinese Business Case Competition. Photo courtesy Dr. Shu Pei Wang.
Judges for the Chinese Business Case Competition. (Photo courtesy Whitmore Global Management Center, Marriott School of Management)

Two teams of BYU students were selected from advanced Chinese classes to participate in the competition. A week and a half prior to the competition, the students received their case studies and studied them together. They were forbidden to get outside help.

“They must rely 100 percent on their teammates and the knowledge they’ve already learned from the Chinese program, particularly from their Business Chinese class,” Wang said.

At the competition, the students went through three rounds of presentations, where judges evaluated their skills. At the end, the judges selected which teams performed best.

Faculty members of the humanities college said winning the competition is very useful for students in their future careers.

“By winning the competition, students gain exposure,” said Dana Bourgerie, professor of Chinese. “They’re doing a task that’s very rare and that most native speakers can’t even do. Going up against other prestigious schools gives them confidence to use Chinese in the business world.”

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