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Booth Places First and Third in the Haas Education Leadership Case Competition

By Jen Schwartz '14  |  march, 2013, Issue 1
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First place winners Ned Levy, Krystle Goh, Jen Schwartz and Zach Barden.

Twelve Booth students escaped the Chicago winter to spend a couple of days in sunny California competing in the UC Berkeley Haas Education Leadership Case Competition (ELCC) on Feb. 15 and 16. Unfortunately, they spent more hours in a library sub-basement than in the sunshine, but the hard work paid off in the end when two of Booth's teams took home top awards.

The Haas ELCC, now in its seventh year, is the oldest education-focused MBA case competition in the country.

Nikita Kiselev, one of the Haas student organizers of this year's competition, describes the event: "Education needs high quality management like any other industry, but with its non-profit nature it often struggles with attracting top-class management talent. With the Berkeley Haas Education Leadership Case Competition, we help real education organizations solve actual problems and at the same time involve business school students in the world of education management, showing them that this world is challenging and interesting enough for their smart and ambitious minds."

Ten teams from top business schools across the country came to Berkeley for this year's competition, including Stanford, Columbia and Vanderbilt. This was the first year Booth students participated in the ELCC and they came in with force, entering three teams in its inaugural year of competition. This high participation rate was spurred on by the newly created Booth Education Industry Group (BoothED), whose purpose is to connect Booth students who share a personal or professional interest in the education sector.

Evan Coughenour '14, co-founder of BoothED, stated "it's no coincidence that so many Booth students are passionate about improving the way we deliver education services in this country. The problems are massive, but the payoffs are equally massive. Along with healthcare, education is one of the key challenges that our generation needs to take on."

This year's client was High Tech High, a successful San Diego area charter school network. They asked participants to consider how best to design and market their recently launched Graduate School of Education, which they created to disseminate their brand of progressive, student-centered education beyond the walls of their existing K-12 schools. Two staff members from High Tech High, as well as representatives from Parthenon Group and Education Pioneers served as judges.

The Booth participation level and performance at the Haas ELCC provided clear evidence that there is a strong and growing contingent of Booth students who are passionate about education reform issues.

Miriam Goldberg '14, BoothED's other co-founder, reflected: "I was so incredibly proud of the Booth contingent at the Haas ELCC. It is clear to me that there is a critical mass of brilliant people at Booth who are engaged in problems of education reform, and I am so glad that we all were able to rally together and put forth a big showing. We have great momentum - we just need to sustain our energy and level of engagement moving forward."

If you are interested in learning more about BoothED, email Evan ( or Miriam ( to join the email list and get involved.

First place team: Zach Barden '14, Krystle Goh '14, Ned Levy '14 and Jen Schwartz '14

Third place team: Nitin Chandra '14, Miriam Goldberg '14, Swanand Gupte '14 and Sarah Sonnenfeld '13

Participating team: Evan Coughenour '14, Robin Li '14, Haibo Lu '14 and Suraj Patel '14

Last Updated 3/11/13
Last Updated 3/11/13