Chasing a Challenge

During the Carolina Case Challenge (CCC), teams of undergraduate business students have just eight hours to research, craft and present a detailed solution to a real-world business problem.

Co-sponsored this year by Brex and Deloitte, the challenge represents the type of work awaiting UNC Kenan-Flagler students pursuing consulting and the skillsets required to succeed.

The teams don’t have a clue about the case they’ll be working on until organizers accompany them to a work room and release the case. From there on, every minute counts.

The cases in the competition are not hypothetical.

“Every client we’ve ever had has given us a real business problem that they are dealing with,” said Amy Bugno, director of career development and employer relations at UNC Kenan-Flagler and faculty advisor for the CCC. “They get an army of business students at their disposal.”’

This year’s case came from Brex, a financial technology company focusing on startup support: “Where should we expand globally: Japan, Brazil or the United Kingdom?”

Before this year’s CCC, Olivia Pirouz ’25 didn’t know what a case competition was. She was interested in consulting but wasn’t sure if the field was right for her.

“I had no clue what to expect, but it ended up being the best experience, probably the highlight of my year,” said Pirouz. “It was an eye-opening experience. It’s a crucial steppingstone in my business path.”

Businesses and professionals who participate in CCC remember students’ names and faces — and their drive.

“This year on the judge’s panel,” said Bugno, “one of the recruiters said to me, ‘I want the names of everyone on this team. I would hire them tomorrow.’”

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