Aflac named title sponsor of SEC MBA Case Competition hosted by Auburn’s Harbert College of Business April 15-17

Published: March 04, 2021
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Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance products in the U.S., will serve as title sponsor for the eighth annual SEC MBA Case Competition hosted virtually April 15-17 by Auburn University’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. Harbert College was scheduled to host the event in April 2020, but COVID-19 forced its postponement.

“Having a popular brand like Aflac as title sponsor for the SEC MBA Case Competition has been such a tremendous win for the Harbert College, Auburn University and the Southeastern Conference,” said Jim Parrish, executive director of full-time and online graduate programs at the Harbert College, who also organizes the college’s SEC MBA Case Competition activities.

“Aflac, with a renowned reputation as a community leader and an international leader in the insurance industry in both the United States and Japan, has been an excellent partner. Their insights and experiences have been such a huge help in moving and developing what will be a first-rate experience for the students involved. I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity to see how their company operates and the issues they face.

“The connection of industry and education is always paramount. This is going to be an incredible experience for our students and those from our peer MBA programs within the SEC because our corporate partner is so readily involved and wants to be engaged at such a high level.”

Aflac will provide teams of four students—representing all 14 Southeastern Conference universities—with a business-pertinent issue on the morning of April 16. Teams must quickly analyze the situation and offer respective strategies and solutions before industry professionals judge the outcomes via Zoom on the morning of April 17. Four teams will compete for a prize pool of $20,000 in the April 17 afternoon final round.

“The events that occurred over the past year revealed the tremendous need to continuously develop bright, young professionals who can quickly adapt and contribute to finding solutions for expected and unforeseen challenges,” said Aflac Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Max Brodén.

“Aflac is proud to sponsor this exciting academic contest, as it will showcase the best and the brightest of the 14 schools representing the Southeastern Conference. We are excited to see how these top students strategize their approach to these complex scenarios.”

Students will make 20-minute presentations before the corporate judges, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. The students' identities and their college affiliations will not be revealed to judges to ensure impartiality.

Parrish believes Harbert College is an SEC trailblazer for hosting the event in virtual circumstances.

“Obviously, we had hoped to host the event in-person last April at our newly completed Horton-Hardgrave Hall, but we also take great pride in being the first SEC school to host this great event virtually in 2021,” Parrish added. “The way that our resources came together to make this a huge success says a lot about how much people care about the Harbert College.

“We hope the 2022 SEC MBA Case Competition will return to an in-person format, but if for some reason it must be remote, we believe we will have set the foundation for how you can host a virtual event. If needed, I’m hoping we can be a model, a roadmap, for future events to follow.”

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.