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ODU Students Take Home Top Prize in Target Case Study Competition

Old Dominion University students Bryan Citizen, Miles Davis, Meron Seife and Mallory Snader placed first in the recent Target Case Study Contest, a competition arranged by ODU's Career Management Services in conjunction with Target Corp. They were awarded a $2,000 prize, to be split evenly among them.

In the contest, students were presented with a case problem involving staffing issues, and were asked to prepare a report on possible solutions. Specifically, the contestants were presented with the problem of high rates of retirement among the "baby boomer" generation, which has left gaps in the workforce. The contestants were tasked with developing a strategy that would allow Target to keep its stores effectively staffed in the wake of these retirements.

Thirteen groups of ODU students signed up to compete in the event. Majors included international business, marketing, finance and accounting.

The students were given the opportunity to ask questions about the case, and were then allocated three weeks to complete their analysis. At the end of the three-week period, they presented their reports to the competition judges, who then selected the five best teams as finalist. The finalists presented their solution to Target executives, who made their final choice based on the presentations.

For their winning proposal, Citizen Davis, Seife, and Snader offered the executives a multifaceted solution, which included instituting a "Kids on Target" daycare service, promoting the company to college students and marketing employment with Target as more than just a place to work.

"We did a statistical analysis that showed that most college students consider Target just a place to get a job, rather than a career," said Davis, a senior majoring in finance and accounting.

The team handed out surveys in ODU's Webb Center during activity hour late in the spring semester, and used those results in their report. Davis said that the contest helped him learn a lot about Target, and companies in general.

"We were able to go out and use all the things they've taught us in our business and marketing classes," he added. "That was the most rewarding part."

This article was posted on: June 10, 2008

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