Carlson School 2014 International HR Case Competition

Advisors Frequently Asked Questions

Please read through all of the questions below. We hope we provided all the pertinent information. If you still have a question that is unaswered, or need a clarification on any of the answers, don't hesitate to email us at
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Will I be able to assist my students while they prepare for the case?
No, only the four participants of each team will be allowed to work on case material. Your student team may not consult with non-team members during preparation of the case analysis or on the Day of Competition. This rule applies to any non-team member i.e., staff, ambassadors, other students/faculty. Only the four participants of each team will be allowed to work on case material. Additionally, faculty advisors will not be allowed to mediate disputes between members of their team during the competition. Your role during the preparation and presentation days will be quite limited. You will be given 1h of Coaching time on Friday. This is meant for you to give any feedback on the presentation style or give useful tips, answer your teams' questions, etc. You are not allowed to change any of the case analysis Powerpoint material the team is preparing.


What am I allowed to do while the competition takes place?
You will not be able observe the presentations. While the teams are working on preparing the cases, you are welcome to attend the events that have been organized for the Faculty/Advisors.
Will I receive a copy of the case?
The competition begins when teams receive their cases on Friday morning. You will receive a copy of the case in paper and electronic form.


What can I do to help my students prepare for the competition?
To prepare for the competition teams may want to practice analyzing past cases from similar competitions or other business cases such as Harvard Business School Cases. Remember that your primary role is to be moral support for your team, and bring along food or other miscellaneous items they might need. You are not allowed to help in any way with the actual case preparation.
May I videotape my team's presentation?
All presentations will be professionally videotaped and distributed to all teams after the competition. No additional video or audio recording of presentations will be permitted.
What expenses are covered by the Organizers?
The competition host covers all meals, accommodation and transportation during the entire competition time. We will also provide the cost of ticket or up to $1500 per person for travel expenses to all international teams, and up to $500 per person to all domestic teams, including Canada and Mexico. Advisors are included as well.


What expenses are not covered by the Organizers?

The Organizer does not cover any personal expenses or expenses related to activities outside of the Event Schedule. Additional travel outside of competition needs are not covered by the Organizers. Additionally, it does not cover:

  • Visa costs (the Organizers will help with additional paperwork needed, but will not cover the actual Visa costs)
  • Additional materials and supplies related to your case preparation
  • Additional food or snacks outside the scheduled meals
  • Optional events and associated expenses
  • Long distance phone calls
  • Hotel room services: food, movies, etc.
  • City visits, tours or other activities


What are some activities that I need to attend?
We highly encourage you to attend the Faculty Luncheon as that will be an opportunity to meet and get to know some of your peers. You are not required to attend any events after the opening dinner. Optional events are TBD.


May I participate in activities for students?
Yes, you are invited to all events during the week of CIHRCom. The only exception is the case preparation! Please check the Event Schedule for more information.


May I do activities on my own?
Yes, you are welcome to arrange your own activities throughout the week. We have prepared a list of tourist attractions, other University of Minnesota events, and other activities happening in the area at the bottom of that page. Please feel free to explore the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota while you are here. If you need help planning, or if you would like to find specific information, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to assist you.


How does a university receive an invitation to participate?

The Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota selected schools from across the globe to compete in the inaugural CIHRCom. Initial invitations have already been sent. If your school has not been invited and would like to participate, please email us at We will evaluate your Program and extend the invitation if we see an appropriate fit. Graduate level students from accredited Master's of Human Resources programs, and Business Administration with Human Resources-focused programs from universities across the globe are eligible to participate in the competition. Each team of four individuals must have at least one first-year student and one second-year student who are currently enrolled in their program. We have currently identified 37 countries with eligible programs. We also apologize ahead of time if we failed to invite your Institution. It was not intentional. The host will also mail out official invitations in August to all invited schools.


What is the agenda for the week?
The week's schedule has a variety of competition-related and social events. Please visit the Final Round Agenda page to find out all the details of the competition.


How many team members are allowed per team?
We allow four graduate students per team to participate in the competition. No alternates are allowed. There must be a mix of students (at least one first year and one second year must be on the team) if the team comes from a 2-year or a 3-year Master's Program.


What is the length and nature of the case that will be analyzed?
The cases typically range between 8 and 20 pages in length, in addition to the Appendix. The case will have a similar format as any Harvard Business Review Case. It will be based off of a real issue that the lead sponsor is currently experiencing. The main topic will be related to international human resources management, but will likely draw from various areas of the business field.


How are the cases distributed?

The preliminary round will occur between September 16 - October 7, 2013. The teams will be given access to the written case through our website. The case will become active at the time they requst it.The teams will have 24 hours (from when the case becomes available) to prepare a written recommendation based on the guidelines given in the Case. The written recommendations must be submitted by one team member to

The final round competition in November at the Carlson School begins when teams receive their cases on Friday morning, 08.00 am on November 15. Similarly, teams will have 24h to work on the presentation (16h to prepare the final presentation). One team member must submit the final presentation by Friday 11.59 pm via email to No alterations to the presentation will be allowed after that time. If the team fails to deliver the presentation by that deadline, they will automatically be disqualified. The teams are welcome to start researching the main sponsor after the opening dinner. Each team will receive a copy of the case in paper and electronic form. The teams are also welcome to continue working on the case past midnight on Friday, but cannot make alterations to the presentation.


What software is used during the competition?
The presentation computers will be installed with Microsoft Office 2007, and PowerPoint is required during presentations.


How many advisors are there for each team? What is their function?
We permit one advisor per team. These advisors are invited to participate in many of the activities held throughout the week. The advisors are not allowed to assist in the case analysis, with the exception of 1h allocated coaching time. They may be available during the competition time only to help with non-case-related issues, such as providing food and water. Advisors will be allowed to consult their teams Thursday after the opening dinner and before teams receive their cases on Friday morning, as well as for the hour allocated to coaching their teams.


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