STEX interviews Net Impact Case Competition teammates | Weatherhead

STEX interviews Net Impact Case Competition teammates

Posted 1.31.2017

Recently, Alexis Hayman, director of Student Experience, sat down with Net Impact president Muyiwa Oni, a second-year MBA student, and his Net Impact Case Competition teammates to discuss their recent success in this national competition. Oni was joined by Mark McIntyre, a first-year full-time dual-degree graduate student in the MBA and Medical Physiology programs, Bahaa'eddine (Bahaa) Takieddine from the Masters of Engineering Management program, and Sarah Surna a dual degree Masters of Social Work and Masters of Public Health student.

The 2016 Net Impact Case Competition is hosted by Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. This year's case challenged participants to find viable business solutions to the problem of mental illness and substance abuse in the workplace. For more info click here. The CWRU team participated in the first round over the Thanksgiving Holiday, and recently learned one of seventeen schools out of thirty six participating schools to have moved on to the second round. They will be presenting their work in February at the Leeds School of Business. 

Alexis: “It seems that you all have different backgrounds and goals for your careers, what drew you to this competition?”

Sarah: “In my social work study, I focus on mental health, and in my public health study, I focus on health policy. This seemed tailored to my interests on both fronts.” 

Mark: “This was a synthesis of both of my fields of study. In physiology, we study the science of how the body works and on the business side, we think about the clinical and economical impact. This was a chance to apply what I learned.” 

Bahaa: “I was very interested in the change management element of this competition. I am an engineer and we approached this case with a design discipline.” 

Muyiwa: “Bahaa and I took a course with Mark Vortuba in healthcare economics. This case is about applying healthcare economics to business decisions so that was exciting for us. But my goals and interests include the intersections of design and sustainability principles, so I was drawn to the opportunity to develop a solution with long term sustainability.”

Alexis “Can you tell me a little more about the case?”

Muyiwa: “It begins with the premise that 1 out of 5 adults will develop a mental health condition, and yet we are operating that it basically doesn’t exist in the work place.” 

Mark: “In the fictional setting, the CEO has been recognizing symptoms of mental health issues within himself. He feel an enormous stigma about addressing these issues publically.” 

Bahaa: “The CEO is talking, but he is nervous, he is hiding it. He wants to change the perception of mental illness, especially among the shareholders of the business.” 

Alexis: “What is your approach?”
Sarah: “We are addressing the stigma first. That is number one.”

Muywia: “Yes, this will increase the value of productivity of each employee. Hopefully, they will be more inclined to access wellness programs and we can show that this will stem the cost of mental health in a business setting. When people are unwell, they are not working to their highest capacity.”

Alexis: “Best of luck! Is there anything else you would like to add?”

Team: “We have received sponsorship from the Net Impact club to participate in this competition. Engineering Management has also pledge support. The Masters of Public Health has pledged 465 dollars too. We would like to thank all of these programs! We will also be utilizing the Office of Student Experience reimbursement program to offset the costs of registration and travel.” 

If you are participating in a case competition this year, and are currently a graduate student at Weatherhead School of Management, and you would like to learn more about our reimbursement support please contact

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