Eleven Daniels teams present solutions for improving Lockheed Martin’s future in space
Students competing in the 19th annual Race and Case competition were not shy about their recommendations to case sponsor Lockheed Martin. Each year, the Daniels College of Business partners with an organization to come up with a real-world case for graduate students to tackle; it is the only business ethics case competition and ski challenge in the nation. Students had two weeks to delve into the challenges of the Lockheed Martin case before presenting their recommendations to judges.
On Friday, Jan. 21, students suggested a wide variety of strategies to build awareness and drive Lockheed Martin into the future, including:
- Enhance the website
- Launch a major ad campaign
- Recruit talent through Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Consider different organization constructs or business models
“We’ve heard great ideas we want to explore,” said Sid Simonson, Finance and Business Operations Lead in Lockheed Martin’s Space Protection Programs. Simonson (MBA 2014, MS 2015) has judged the competition for eight years. “I love that students are becoming aware and sharing those perspectives. Outside eyes and ears are providing tangible takeaways.”
Students represented six of Daniels’ graduate programs: Professional MBA, Denver MBA, Master of Accountancy, Master’s in Business Analytics, Master’s in Management and Master’s in Real Estate and the Built Environment. Each team gave 10-minute presentations, followed by five minutes of Q&A before receiving live feedback from the judges. The impressive line-up of judges included four Lockheed Martin leaders: Program Management VP Johnathon Caldwell, Finance & Bus Ops VP David Mcreavy, Controller VP Jenny Mitchell and F&BO Lead – Space Protection Programs Sid Simonson. Other judges included Corey Kwarta with Swisslog Healthcare, Alexie Tune with Deloitte and Alex West with Slalom Consulting.
Heather Erickson is the director of Talent and Organizational Capability at Lockheed Martin Space. She says her organization benefits from sponsoring this competition in two main ways. The first is partnering with a local university that they know produces strong talent who can join their organization.
The second way Erickson says the partnership is beneficial has to do with the case competition itself. “We thrive on the teams’ insights and ideas, who share a fresh perspective on real business challenges,” she said. “Our demographic has shifted over the last few years. When I started seven years ago, the tenure was very different. Now, approximately 50% of the workforce at Lockheed Martin Space has zero to five years of experience in the company, so we use these insights to ultimately help our culture and business thrive.”
By 4 p.m. Friday, the case portion of the competition was over and teams headed to Breckenridge, hoping to get good rest before the ski portion of the competition Saturday. While the contestants didn’t know it, Team F was in the lead after the case portion of the competition.
Saturday, teams woke up to chilly, but sunny conditions in Breckenridge, and nearly 4 inches of new powder. Students could ski or snowboard down a timed run at the Vail Resort property. The fastest male and female times comprise the final 10% of each team’s overall score.
The fastest female skier was Denver MBA student Paula Hedin, representing Team G. The fastest male was Denver MBA student Jonathan Tapper, who was on Team A.
While the fast skiers were impressive, they didn’t knock Team F from the highest score overall.
Team F, consisting of first-year Denver MBA students Kailee Caranta, Brendan Corcoran, Molly Mueller and Holden Roumay took first place in the Race and Case competition, winning $1,500.
Second place went to Team C, which included Denver MBA students Colin Bolling, Hannah Griffiths, Kohl Headle and Frederick Martinussen. They won $1,000. Team G took third place winning $500. Team G included Denver MBA’s Vishesh Adlakha, Paula Hedin, Matt Pitman and Hannah Nia.
The Daniels College of Business wishes to thank case-sponsor Lockheed Martin, especially John Wasong who helped Teaching Associate Professor Paul Holt write the case. The winning team will go on to represent Daniels in the national competition which will be hosted at DU Feb. 24-26.