competition participation

Competition invitations

The Marshall MBA Program values its global reputation as a top business school, and is continually mindful of ways to further enhance it. While case competitions, new venture competitions, stock pitch competitions, and other similar events offer unique learning experiences and opportunities to enhance professional and personal networks, all decisions to participate are made in light of their impact on our reputation. In order to support this effort, the following participation policies are in place:

  1. All invitations to participate in case competitions, or similar events, where students will be acknowledged as representing USC and/or any Marshall graduate program are to be treated as official invitations. Acceptance of any invitation must be coordinated and cleared with MBCP. This includes MBCP sponsored, and any potential un-sponsored events.  Please submit invitations to MBCP (
  2. To qualify as an MBCP sponsored event, the team selection and application process must be conducted through the MBCP channels. Applications for team membership will be submitted through the MBCP website, and a representative and competitive team will be selected by the MBCP review committee.
  3. Once the team is selected, all members must adhere to the commitment required to prepare for the competition (see commitment page of this section) and abide by the specific MBCP coaching guidelines stated in their team section email.
  4. Any and all materials submitted to both MBCP and the competition must be original work. Materials featured in our trainings and on the website are to be used for reference purposes only. The example slides are not meant to be templates for application slides or any decks. Individuals and teams that submit materials that bear a strong resemblance to other peoples' work will be investigated and may be disqualified.


In addition to the application screening process, students must meet the following minimum requirements in order to participate in a case competition:

  • The student must be in good academic standing (with a GPA above 3.0). First year students who have not yet completed their first semester will be evaluated based on grades from the first two terms, if available.
  • The student must commit to working with the team as recommended by the Program Office, MBCP coach and/or the faculty advisor in order to adequately prepare for the competition.


Case competition participation does not constitute an excused absence from class. You should not apply for competitions that conflict with your class schedule. You are responsible for turning all class assignments in on time.

Team Commitment

Once a student is selected for a case competition team, it is expected that the student will demonstrate a strong commitment to preparing for the teams success. This commitment may include:

  • Responding to requests for information from the host school or sponsor in a timely manner
  • Meeting with the team on a regular basis and meeting with the team's assigned MBCP coach at least twice
  • Participating in practice cases and presentations
  • Meeting with the team faculty and/or staff advisor
  • Providing updates to MBCP and Sofia Guerra ( in the Full-Time MBA Program Office as requested

Students who feel they will be unable to meet their commitment to the team should contact Sofifia Guerra ( and the lead MBCP coach within 48 hours of being notified of their selection to the team so that a replacement team member can be identified or other appropriate actions can be taken.

Upholding the commitment to the team is critical to maintain not only the student personal reputation, but also the reputation of the USC Marshall School. Students who back out of their commitment to a case competition team or fail to meet any of the above requirements may incur the following consequences, depending on the severity of the situation:

  • Loss of case competition reimbursement privileges for the semester or year
  • Loss of case competition participation privileges for the semester or year
  • The student may be referred to the Honor Committee

Extenuating circumstances, such as a medical or family emergency, will be considered excused absences. In such cases, the student should notify Sofia Guerra (  as soon as possible.