A team of four students from UT Health San Antonio went to Dallas on Feb. 29 to compete in the 3rd annual Healthcare Case Competition hosted by UTSW Consulting Club.
Justin Moroney, Carlo Vanz, Mustafa Mithaiwala and Travis Shute went representing the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program as well as EnventureSA and managed to cinch 1st place in the competition, competing against 17 other teams and vetted by a panel of experienced judges from BCG, McKinsey, Deloitte, Mercer, Intrepid healthcare and more.
We first heard about the event through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and thought it would be a great way to gain experience in consulting. As students, the four of us are feeling out job options or in the very early stages of preparing for a career in consulting. We received our case problem one week prior to the competition and had to come up with an innovative market entry strategy. The Healthcare solution involved identifying the proper diagnostic market for Nano liquid solutions (https://www.nlsmedichip.com) to leverage its novel nano-fluidics MediChip Device for blood diagnostics.
As a team, we spent long hours on the weekend and after lab strategizing, sizing markets, analyzing data and identifying key trends in health care and the U.S. population; all in an effort to develop a cohesive recommendation for the client. In the end, we ended up providing a market entry strategy that maximized the products competitive advantages within the immuno- and clinical chemistry diagnostic segment, while avoiding weakness through targeted marketing towards primary care physicians.
This being our first consulting competition, we mostly went to Dallas with the intent of using this event as a learning experience. The competition we faced did a wonderful job and all provided vastly different solutions to the prompt, really thinking outside the box. Not only did we make it through the elimination round, but we effectively presented and defended our recommendation in front of a panel of experienced consultants from a variety of prestigious firms and managed to take home 1st place as well as a $1200 prize.
After, we had the opportunity to networking with students and industry professionals, all of who were very warm and inviting. We had some great conversations and built important relationships with the degree-candidate network across Texas. We are really humbled by this opportunity and view this event as a accelerated way to obtain focused feedback for personal and team growth. We all had a stellar experience and fully expect to be competing in other healthcare case competitions in the future. I like to thank the panel of judges who came out to evaluate us during their weekend and I’d like to give a huge shout out to the consulting club at UTSW for putting on such a wonderful event, the organizers really went out of their way to make this a great experience.
About The Team
Mustafa Mithaiwala is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. His research is focused on the neurobiological mechanisms underlying inflammation-induced cognitive impairment using both in vivo and in vitro systems with an emphasis on dendritic remodeling in the hippocampus and the contribution of neurotoxic kynurenine metabolism. Outside of the laboratory, Mustafa is active in the student community on campus and currently serves as the chair of the UT system Student Advisory Council with interests in higher education and healthcare consultancy.
Travis Shute is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the molecular immunology and microbiology discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. His research focuses on developing a novel cancer immunotherapy using glycolipid-loaded nanoparticles that harness natural killer T cells to drive anti-tumor responses. When not in lab Travis enjoys spending time in the great outdoors and reading.
Justin Moroney is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the molecular immunology and microbiology discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. His research focuses on understanding and exploiting the molecular and regulatory underpinnings of human memory B cells to facilitate vaccine development. Outside of lab, Justin interns with UT Health SA’s Office of Technology Commercialization and plays an active role in the scientific community as the program director of EnventureSA.