La Salle University Business Students
Win Johnson & Johnson National Competition
of La Salle University business students won Johnson & Johnson's
national case competition, in which contestants had to deal with
a real-life problem the firm encountered recently.
Mazur, Kristen Overturf, Kayci O'Donnell, and Breanne Ward, won
against nine other colleges from across the country. Mazur is a
senior Marketing and English major; Overturf is a junior Accounting
major, and O'Donnell and Ward are sophomore Accounting majors.
competition was based on a presentation of a marketing/promotion
strategy for a "fake" product called "Tolla"
made by Johnson & Johnson, which was based on their Tylenol
product. The competition was to determine whether the product should
be introduced to one or two foreign countries, "Jennings"
and "Columbus" (Japan and China respectively), and as
either a pain-killer or an aid to respiratory problems.
La Salle squad chose to market it only to "Jennings" and
as a pain-killer.
I definitely was nervous at the competition," said Ward. "We'd
gone through the presentation enough. Our group was the last one
to present; we had to watch all the other presentations, and that
made us nervous."
it was announced the La Salle team had won, "I thought I was
going to cry," said Ward. "We were underdogs because this
was the first year for us in the competition. I felt we did perform
superbly, but in comparing our team to the others, it was a stretch
hoping for second place."
four students will split a $1,000 prize from Johnson & Johnson,
La Salle's School of Business Administration received an additional
said, "I didn't believe it when they told us we won. We did
come in with lower expectations because it was our first year in
competition. The University of Florida had won for two consecutive
years." Mazur said the
La Salle team's presentation wasn't as "polished" as some
of the more experienced teams, but "the judges weren't looking
at presentations as much as our content and our ability to answer
questions, to think on our feet."
competition ended a semester-long stretch done on a volunteer basis.
While the students received no academic credit for their efforts,
they said they gained valuable experience.
January, teams were formed at La Salle to compete for the right
to possibly go to Johnson & Johnson headquarters in New Brunswick,
Overturf, O'Donnell, and Ward won the internal competition, which
also used the "Tolla" and "Jennings" and "Columbus"
question. The quartet made a 30-minute presentation, and it was
judged the best by a La Salle faculty panel and two Johnson &
Johnson representatives. But that was no guarantee they'd make it
to the finals.
Borkowski, a Professor of Accounting at La Salle who was the team's
advisor, said the group made a strong impression on the Johnson
& Johnson representatives, who invited them to participate in
the internal competition took a great deal of time for preparation,
say the students. While the team was not allowed to do original
research, it had figures and information provided by Johnson &
Johnson. The students had to work out financial questions, such
as currency exchanges, and manufacturing and marketing costs.
of us anticipated how much work was involved," says Mazur.
Before the final competition at the Johnson & Johnson headquarters,
the group spent 15 hours during a weekend in a La Salle computer
lab refining their presentation before traveling to New Brunswick.