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 developing business plans for entering new markets, planning round table events, reorganizing warehouse space to increase inventory capacity, and developing a marketing plan for a new product. Participating companies have included Bank of America, McCormick & Co., r2Integrated, Sherwin Williams, Target, AOL, Kohl's, Enterprise and many more.
An executive leader from the Baltimore area serves as the presenting executive (formerly called the "Donald" after Donald Trump). This individual presides over the 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.
What is it like to compete in the Associate? We followed some of the 2014 candidates during the 2014 competition in this video.
2014 marked the tenth anniversary of The Associate. What started as a spin-off of a reality TV show has grown into something much larger and more significant. Since 2005, 78 students and 44 companies have participated in the competition which has resulted in 20 job offers for participating students.