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‘Golden Team’ Wins Bayer Cup Competition

‘Golden Team’ Wins Bayer Cup Competition

Grace Gui ’19 reflects on participating in her first case competition.

‘Golden Team’ Wins Bayer Cup Competition
The winning team from Yale SOM

In October, I went to the Bayer Cup Competition in Whippany, New Jersey, with three other Yale SOM students—Aly Crowley, Jennifer Fischer, and Owen Yang). It was the first time that Yale SOM was represented in the competition. It was also the first time I participated in a case competition. I couldn’t believe that our team made it this far, but it all became real as we pulled into the driveway of Bayer’s spaceship-looking campus.

At Bayer, we began the day with breakfast, which we shared with a man who, unbeknownst to us, was the president of Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Shortly afterward, it was time for us to present. As I walked onto the stage, I realized how many senior executives were looking at us. It was both an intimidating and gratifying experience: we were here representing Yale and getting noticed by so many very important people at this global company. I was proud, and we successfully finished our presentation.

Just as I thought that the competition was over and done with, Bayer threw the teams a curveball. There was a change in the case, and we had to act quickly to resolve the challenge. I was nervous, but the support of the team made me feel confident that even if we did not win, we would have a great time and learn from this experience. Soon, we were on stage again and answering the questions from the main prompt as well as follow ups from senior executives. I felt good about our answers, but did not know how we compared to other teams since the teams all went in separately. When I heard that we won, I was speechless. My first case competition—and this team was golden.

There is an old adage that says, “It’s not about the end result; it’s about the journey.” While it felt great winning the competition, I think that what I will remember will be the friendships I have made and the people I have met in this journey. It was amazing getting to know my teammates. Shout out to Owen, Aly, and Jennifer for all of their hard work and for making this such a colorful memory that will always be with me after I graduate from Yale SOM.