Want to showcase your skills?

This is your chance to develop a business strategy and pitch directly to a panel of judges from Microsoft. 

The Kellstadt Case Competition is a unique opportunity that allows students to compete in teams to solve a current business challenge. The competition objective is to enhance Kellstadt student engagement with the business community and provide a platform to enrich the student experience through learning and networking. Students will be able to apply learned class concepts, work in teams to develop a business solution, pitch their recommendations, and receive personalized feedback from judges and professors.  

This year, we are thrilled to offer a case submitted directly from Microsoft and judged by a panel of knowledgeable Microsoft employees. 

The competition is open to all MBA/MS students at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Students will work in teams of 4-6 members to develop a strategy and deliver a 20-minute presentation that outlines the recommended course of action for the company.

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, February 7 — Team and individual application deadline

  • Thursday, February 8 — Case is released to all participants

  • Monday, Feb 12th 5-6pm — Case Q&A session with representative from Microsoft

  • Friday, March 2nd 3-6pm — Competition at DePaul Loop 8204, followed by networking reception.

Team Registration

  • Click to register your team

  • Teams must include 4-6 members; diverse backgrounds and concentrations are encouraged

  • We are accepting a maximum of 5 teams, early registration is strongly recommended

  • Application form includes:

    • Member information

    • Why do you want to compete?

    • What do you hope to get out of this competition?

    • What background and knowledge do you or your team plan to leverage?

    • Confirmation of individual/team attendance on Friday, March 2, from 3-6 p.m.

Individual Registration

  • No team? No problem. Click here to register as an individual, and we will match you with 3-5 other enthusiastic applicants to create your team. Diverse backgrounds and concentrations are encouraged to apply.

Presentation Criteria

  • Team presentations must be no more than 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute Q&A with the judges

  • Each team can utilize feedback from a Kellstadt professor as their coach, to gather feedback on the team's strategy and presentation development

  • Judges will evaluate presentations on:

    • Business knowledge and application

    • Evidence-based recommendations and strategy

    • Impactful storytelling

    • Creativity

    • Overall presentation quality

Head Judges

               Joe Veverka Program Manager, Microsoft Search Advertising

               Diran Hafiz Head of Advertiser Analytics, Automotive, Microsoft

              Teresa Swinton  Strategic Sales Director, Central Region, Microsoft

     James Moore Director of Online Learning DePaul University

     Mark Skroch Adjunct Professor DePaul University

Faculty Coaches

              Dr. Zafar Iqbal Professor

              Dr. Behice Ilhan Professor


Winners of the Kellstadt Case Competition will receive free tickets to the Kellstadt Marketing Group's 10th Annual Symposium on April 28th, as well as free ELITE membership to KMG. (Also official certificates from Kellstadt and bragging rights).

Questions? Email us at

Recommended Resources - Although accreditation not necessary, reviewing these materials will help you better execute a compelling presentation. 

               Highly Recommended

               Bing Ads, Professional Accreditation 

               Google, AdWords Fundamentals

               Google, Search Advertising


               Google, Video Advertising

               Google, Display Advertising


I am a new student. Can I still participate? Yes,  the Kellstadt Case Competition is open to any current MBA/MS Kellstadt student. This is an opportunity to learn beyond the classroom and apply your knowledge and skills to a real-world case. This is a learning event for all participants -- we don't expect you to be perfect, but we expect students to do their best.

I don't have a team, how will I be placed in a group? Individuals who submit a complete application will be randomly assigned into teams with other applicants. This is a great way to make new friends, and often the best groups are the ones formed random. So why not, right?

Do we have to submit a written report?   A written report is not required for this competition.  However, remember that the presentation should include evidence- based recommendations and storytelling. Pretend you are a product manager pitching a business strategy to executives. Make sure you are knowledgeable and have supporting evidence during the presentations.

What is the time commitment for this competition? While it may vary from team to team, developing a good strategy and presentation does take time. As such. this will require ample time for you to do background research, brainstorm ideas with the team, develop a story, create a presentation, etc. You will have roughly 3 weeks to prepare, so we encourage you to use your time wisely.

Is there anything I can do now to help me prepare? Check out our "Additional Resources" section and explore the background research. Plus, if you get certified in any of those courses, you can add it to your resume. Win-win! 

What happens when I submit an application? You will receive a follow-up email once all applications have been reviewed with additional instructions. Note: all information on the application form needs to be completed to be considered for the competition. 

I am not a Kellstadt MBA/MS student. Can I still participate? Although the competition is targeted to current Kellstadt MBA/MS students, we will consider making special exceptions for DePaul honors students and/or other DePaul graduate programs. Please email us directly at

Can I come watch the competition? Of course! We encourage you to come support fellow students and partake in the networking reception after the event. We will have a separate RSVP link for audience member soon. Make sure to follow "Kellstadt Marketing Group" on your favorite social media platform to stay informed.

Any other words of advice? Do your background research — you will need this to develop a strong strategy and to ensure to you are confident speaking on the topic. As a team, you will need to organize quickly— set up meeting times, split up the work, create team goals and deadlines. Also, we encourage you to reach out to one of our Kellstadt faculty coaches or find a professor of your own to gather feedback, as that will help you prepare.

Final word:  Our judges from Microsoft are excited to participate in this event, so let's show them what great talent Kellstadt has to offer! Good luck!