The Associate is the College of Business and Economics' signature business case competition. Held each spring, the competition provides eight graduating seniors with a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their business acumen while competing for a job offer and learning invaluable lessons from successful business leaders.
Throughout the course of the competition, area companies pose real-world business cases to eight graduating seniors, who split into two teams. One candidate is let go from the competition on a weekly basis until the final boardroom session when "The Associate" is named.
Examples of weekly cases include planning round table events, organizing the consolidation of office space and developing a marketing plan. Participating companies have included Bank of America, McCormick and Company, r2Integrated, Sherwin Williams, Target, and UBS Financial Services.
An executive leader from the Baltimore area serves as lead judge (sometimes called the "Donald" after Donald Trump). This individual presides over the weekly boardroom sessions, gives feedback and advice to students, and with the help of his or her panel, decides which candidates will progress throughout the competition.
2014 marked the tenth anniversary of The Associate. What started as a spin-off of the reality TV show "The Apprentice" has grown into something much more. Over the course of its history, the competition has seen 78 students and 44 companies and has resulted in 19 job offers for participating students.