Photo by Luke Turley

More than 80 students competed for cash prizes and the chance to show off their business skills at the first-ever Quinlan Case Competition held October 8 at Loyola’s Water Tower Campus.

Their challenge: to take the lessons learned from the classroom and apply them to a real-world business case. In this instance: CEMEX, a Mexican cement company that dedicates a portion of its business (Patrimonio Hoy) to helping lower income families build their homes.

The students received the case on October 3 and had only 100 hours to prepare a 20-minute presentation.

“To win, you have to come up with a big idea in a small amount of time,” says Alex See, Quinlan’s student activities coordinator. “It’s just like in the real world, and we simulated that experience in every way, even with some ‘bonus-type’ incentives.”

That translated into a first place prize of $400/member for team IBFMA, consisting of four juniors and one senior—Davi Aragao, Steven Koblinski, Austin Nugent, Robert Ruder, and John Schmidt. Their recommendation was to turn Patrimonio Hoy into a not-for-profit entity.

“I thought what set us apart was our dedication, our preparation, and our professionalism,” Schmidt says of his team’s efforts.

The second place prize ($200/member) and third place prize ($100/member) went to Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Madelaine and Company, respectively. A special distinction—the Lawrence Metzger Award for Excellence, named in honor of the beloved accounting professor who passed away earlier this month—went to Prestigious Regis, the highest scoring team consisting of first- and second-year students. Prestigious Regis team members each received $50.

Cash aside, the most valuable takeaway of all was the chance to make vital connections that could lead to future career opportunities.

“Our alumni turnout was extraordinary,” says See, noting that 25 served as judges. “We can’t wait for next year. This was a momentous occasion for our community and sure to become a Quinlan tradition.”

For more on the Quinlan Case Competition—including an exclusive interview with the winning team—visit