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Behind the Scenes at the 2024 Dean's Cup: More Than Just a Competition

Behind the Scenes at the 2024 Dean's Cup: More Than Just a Competition

February 13, 2024

This past weekend, the University of Vermont's Grossman School of Business was buzzing with an energy that only comes around once a year. Yes, it was time for the annual Dean's Cup, but to call it just a competition would be an understatement. Held on a crisp Saturday, February 10, 2024, in Kalkin Hall, this year's event was a whirlwind of innovation, strategy, and, dare I say, a whole lot of fun.

A Challenge That Matters

This year's case competition wasn't about hypothetical business scenarios or theoretical market analyses. Instead, teams dove into the deep end with a topic as real as it gets: the feasibility and economics of running an environmentally sustainable arena. But it wasn't just about the numbers. The challenge was to weave in local community involvement and fan engagement to ensure the proposed model wasn't just sustainable on paper but in practice too.

Thinking Outside the Box

What struck me most was the creativity teams brought to the table. We're talking about suggestions to revitalize dormant monorail lines for transport, hybrid bussing solutions, and even gamification strategies to encourage eco-friendly fan behaviors. It's one thing to talk about reducing emissions; it's another to come up with actionable, innovative strategies that could realistically be implemented.

A Community Effort

The emphasis on local community involvement was a breath of fresh air. It's easy to forget the power of community in the digital age, but the teams reminded us of its value. Proposals to involve local schools and generate carbon-conscious participation weren't just about filling seats; they were about building a culture of sustainability that extends beyond the arena.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

As a judge and representative of InTrack Investment Management at the event, the depth of insight and the caliber of presentations I witnessed were truly impressive. Observing the participants, I was particularly struck by their public speaking prowess, strategic thinking, and sharp financial analytics. These moments underscored for me that the Dean's Cup is far more than an academic exercise; it's a crucible for real-world learning, where students refine and showcase the skills that will define their professional success.

A Personal Reflection

Reflecting on the day's events, the passion, determination, and collaborative spirit of all the participants were evident. There's a competitive edge, of course—it is a competition, after all—but more than that, there's a shared commitment to learning, growth, and making a meaningful impact. Participating in the Dean's Cup reminded me of the vital role we play in nurturing the next generation of business leaders.

As this year's competition closes, I'm left with a sense of optimism and inspiration. The Grossman School of Business, through events like the Dean's Cup, is cultivating a community poised to create a brighter, more innovative future. Cheers to the emerging leaders, thinkers, and changemakers—the future does indeed look promising from where I stand.


Myron R. Sopher

Managing Partner, InTrack Investment Management