Natalie Hustek (Business ’18) Places In National Business Competition
Natalie Hustek competed in Go Live Serve’s Business Case Competition, placing fourth out of forty-four teams.
Natalie Hustek (Business Dec ’18) recently competed in Go Live Serve’s Business Case Competition, placing fourth out of forty-four teams composed primarily of MBA students. Natalie and her team were given a case study and the financials of Feed, an East Asian company, and tasked with presenting a proposal to help develop the business.
Natalie attended Praxis Academy at Biola University this past summer on scholarship through King’s. At Praxis Academy, Natalie met students from all over the country, several of whom became her teammates for the Go Live Serve competition.
Go Live Serve advocates for spreading the Gospel by sending full-time professionals into the world rather than full-time missionaries. The organization sees vocation as a conduit for building Christ-centered communities in East and Central Asia. Go Live Serve hosts a Business Case Competition to both help students think about Christ-centered, international business and source solutions and growth options for the businesses.
Before December 2017, Natalie never knew about case competitions or consulting. Jon Hart, who heads Praxis Academy and teaches at King’s as an adjunct, recommended the competition to Natalie a few weeks into December. Excited about the opportunity, Natalie assembled her team, friends from Praxis, and worked over Christmas Break via Skype and Google Hangout meetings to submit a proposal by the January 1 deadline.
Natalie and her group were among the top four who qualified for the next round of the competition: pitching their proposal in person at the Believers in Business conference in New York City. The other three teams who were selected included MBA students from New York University’s Stern Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. A panel of Christian professors and members of the Feed company selected the finalists based on both the proposal and presentation. Natalie’s team placed fourth.
Even though her team did not secure a spot in the the top three, the placements that earned cash prizes, Natalie says the experience was worthwhile. “I really enjoyed the process of blending business and my faith, interacting with business leaders, and learning about case competitions as a whole.” She attributed her success to the skills she learned in classes with Professors Fotopulos and Brenberg. Elements of the competition, such as advanced financial modeling, stretched Natalie and her team, but they remain proud of they work they did, especially given the caliber of the other teams.
“I don’t know what I want to do after I graduate,” says Natalie, “but it was a neat experience to see Christian leaders in business and it definitely piqued my interest going forward.”
For Natalie, the competition afforded the opportunity to be creative and take pride in finding solutions for the real world. Natalie says, “King’s should have a team do this competition in future years, since we [King’s students] are constantly thinking about the intersection of living as Christians and having vocations but also building businesses.”