Joplin, MO (SNS) – Students from the Plaster School of Business have entered the 2015-16 NASBITE International Student Case Competition as the defending champions.

The five-member team is working on a 20-page analysis that involves the Ohio-based Cleveland Whiskey, which is looking to expand globally – specifically into Singapore. Papers are blind-reviewed, with the top three teams invited to make presentations at the NASBITE’s convention April 4-8 in Newport, Rhode Island.

Team members are Holly Loncarich, of Fairview; Josh Foster, Carterville; Cynthia Salas, Purdy; Aliza Fahle, Joplin; and Viktoriya Johnson, an international student from Bulgaria.

“I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be a comprehensive case,” said Loncarich, an international business major who was on the winning team in the last competition. “Last year, were more on the market entry/market selection side of things. This year, we’ll focus more on the international side, looking at strategic positioning.”

The team from Missouri Southern took first place in the inaugural competition, working on an international marketing problem on behalf of Essex Industries of St. Louis. Their competitors in the finals were teams from Cleveland State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

The competition is open to all colleges and universities that have an academic business program at the undergraduate level. Teams must consist of 3-5 students who are pursuing a degree in business.

While the companies at the heart of the competition invariably do their own market research, the event offers additional perspective that can be beneficial to them.

“Consulting is expensive,” said Dr. Chris Moos, associate professor of international business and the team’s advisor. “These are student teams, but every team has a faculty mentor and the company will be getting three different viewpoints to consider. That is valuable.”