Walmart International Challenge

By: Emma Livingston, Staff Writer

The Challenge: Assemble a diverse team and, in just eight short days, create both a cogent strategy to enhance Walmart Store’s Millennial online shopping share and a persuasive presentation to convince a panel of judges from Walmart that your team’s strategy is the best.

On February 11, 2015, ten teams from Thunderbird, the W.P. Carey School of Business, and other ASU schools competed in Lecture Hall 54 for the biggest market share of the judges’ points in the Walmart and Sam’s Club International Academy Design Thinking Challenge.

The competition attracted a diverse group of people. 15 countries were represented, seven different schools, and at least five different majors.

“Our team is very multicultural,” said Juntao Zhang, a student at the W.P. Carey School of Business who joined a team with a group of Thunderbird students. “We have people from Japan, India, China, and Mexico.”

Photo Courtesy of Del Granado
Photo Courtesy of Del Granado

The presentation styles and the ideas presented were as diverse as the teams. The winning strategy was presented by Team 9, an all T-Bird team led by Flavia Goncalves, MBA 15, who distinguished themselves by telling a story, giving the audience a vision of how their social media campaign would play out, rather than just explaining their ideas point by point.

Thunderbird professor Michael Finney described their presentation as a “mini-case strategy” and said they were the only team “to follow all the way through the social media contagion.”

Carolina Pagano, Sr. Director HR Business Initiatives at Walmart International and one of the judges of the challenge, praised Team 9, saying that for Walmart, “storytelling is how we communicate and connect.”

“In one word, our teamwork is synergy,” second-year MBA student and member of Team 9, Nicolas del Granado, stated. “We’re a very diverse team with very diverse backgrounds. We weren’t afraid of disagreement and debate, but we all respected each other.”

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