Students from Batten Course Score High in Bain Competition

UVA students who won Bain competition 2023

From L-R: Ishita Sharm, Allie Maahs, Avery Tyrrell, Sara Quinlan, Rebecca Yakobson


Batten congratulates the 10 UVA students who won first- and third-place in the 7th annual Bain & Co. Women’s Case Competition!

Bain & Co. – one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, working primarily with Fortune 500 companies -- has a long tradition of recruiting bachelors and advanced degree graduates from the University of Virginia, including from the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

Out of 16 total teams participating in this year’s competition, the first-place team included Sarah Quinlan, Rebecca Yakobson, Allie Maahs, Avery Tyrrell and Ishita Sharma.  Each received a guaranteed first-round interview for a Bain internship. The team placing third included Yingying Elisa Hu, Lexie Xirui Li, Tianwei Zhao, Sophia Wilbourn and Vazira Ahmedjonova.

This also marks the fourth year that students from Professor Brendan Boler’s course, Introduction to Management Consulting and Strategic Decision Making, have placed first in the event.

In conducting the case-study competition, Bain & Co. looks for:

  • The team’s approach to structured problem-solving
  • Analytical and creative thinking
  • Usage of data to quantify and make recommendations
  • Communication skills in conveying ideas
  • How the team suggests implementing their proposals

Rebecca (BS in Commerce; ’25) recalls that the Bain representatives said they felt like they were having a genuine, meaningful conversation with her and her teammates during the Q&A, something Bain seeks when talking with actual clients.

“I remember they also loved our linked appendix and math breakdown to show how we got all of our estimates in the appendix, and being ready to explain how we got any numbers we used in our recommendation,” she said.

Rebecca and several others credit their time in Professor Boler’s Batten course (LPPS 3440) to helping them prepare for success in the competition. The course is a collaboration between the Batten School and University Career Center which allows students to learn problem-solving skills and apply them to real-world clients.  Each team is assigned an alumni coach to help mentor students throughout the semester.

“The analytic problem-solving tools presented in this course were an invaluable help to our team’s success, and our delivery would not have been possible without the Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint skills we gained this semester,” said Sara (BS in Commerce; ’25).

“I think one of the biggest takeaways was the process of creating a professional slide deck, preparing a presentation and presenting to a panel of judges in a formal and professional setting. In Professor Boler’s class, we learned the power of confidence and the way that you present yourself,” said Allie (BS in Economics; ’25).

Said Boler: “It’s been extremely rewarding to watch these hardworking and talented women put into action some of the core skills gained from the course and win in this high-stakes case competition.”

Congratulations again to all 10 students!

Garrett Hall at Sunset

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