Goizueta’s Business Communication Strategy class offered in the BBA program is centered around a case study competition. The cases BUS365 students take on are not pulled from a textbook or article: They are real challenges experienced by real companies, right now. This semester, students focused on data analysis and collection as they developed communication strategies for SurveyMonkey.

The students were tasked with creating a communication strategy in which SurveyMonkey appeals to enterprise buyers. They were then asked to develop cross-channel messaging for enterprise marketing decision-makers.

Professor in the Practice of Organization and Management Molly Epstein teaches a section of the course, along with Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization & Management Nikki Graves and Senior Lecturer in the Practice of Organization & Management Jenn Crenshaw.

“Instead of using published cases, we partner with a client whose organization seeks creative solutions to complex problems. Our students develop their critical thinking skills by analyzing complicated real-world situations for which there is no one ‘right’ answer,” Epstein explained. “The ambiguous nature of the case competition challenge encourages students to explore multiple pathways to a solution and discover creative approaches to ‘messy,’ complex problems.”

The students prepared for the final presentations throughout the semester: In the first half of the semester, they developed their self-awareness and mastered communication strategy. Then, incorporating feedback they received on various written documents and presentations, they polished their professionalism and communication skills.

Leela Srinivasan gives feedback to students during the SurveyMonkey case competition final presentations

Along the way, the students connected with and learned from innovative leaders. SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie met with students informally and shared his leadership journey and experiences creating a culture that powers the curious. Chief Marketing Officer Leela Srinivasan met with students twice, once via videoconference to introduce the case, and once in person to judge the final presentations and select a winning team. Also present at the final presentations was Sabrina Leblanc, director of sales.

After the final teams presented, Srinivasan thanked all the students for their hard work. “We just saw five really different and inventive presentations that had very thoughtful answers to the question we posed. I like that you each have your own interpretation of it. We deliberately left it somewhat ambiguous so that you could choose to pursue a different strategy, and I think we got a lot of really interesting answers and proposals as a result. I’m genuinely really impressed,” she said.

Srinivasa and Leblanc selected Team Banana Nut Bread as the winner. The team included

  • Madison Cherry
  • Sydney Zirlin
  • Hunter Goldberg
  • Kate Bachman
  • Farhan Hossain
  • Gaby Lai

Epstein sees the case competition as a valuable opportunity for students to analyze and develop solutions to the types of complex problems they will inevitably encounter in their careers. “Working with SurveyMonkey enabled students to understand the ways in which collecting data can improve relationships, create responsive organizational cultures and connect with customers.”