University at Buffalo undergrads present retail strategies in Target case competition

School of Management Minority Alliance team wins $1,500 prize

Release Date: March 14, 2018 This content is archived.

“I learned how to meet deadlines that seemed impossible, delegate tasks within a group based on individual strengths, respectfully debate and give criticism, and present in front of proven leaders. ”
Mason Rivero, Business Administration Student
University at Buffalo School of Management

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As a panel of Target leaders observe, five teams of University at Buffalo undergraduates present their ideas for strategies the retail giant can implement to achieve strong sales during the upcoming back-to-college season.

Welcome to the annual On-Target Undergraduate Club Case Competition, a high-energy event hosted by the UB School of Management that gives students a first-hand look at a real-world business problem — and challenges them to solve it.

This year, students examined how Target could differentiate itself from its competitors during the back-to-school season to increase profitability. On March 9, the five finalist teams delivered their presentations, incorporating tactics for merchandising, generating customer excitement and localizing stores that vary widely in size, volume and location.

“It’s exciting to see the students’ ideas unfold during their presentations,” says competition judge Brittany Mazurkiewicz, an executive team leader at Target. “During the first round, the students came into the store and were able to see it from a different perspective. That allows them to think outside the box, combined with the knowledge they’ve gained from their classes, to present with passion.”

In the end, a team representing the School of Management Minority Alliance came out on top and will share a $1,500 prize ($250 for each team member, $500 for the club). The winning team was made up of team captain Mason Rivero of Queens and his fellow UB School of Management undergraduates Brandon Alexander of Staten Island, Aamna Jaffri of Buffalo and Jonathan Tai of Queens. 

“A major takeaway for our team was the importance of being confident and believing in your work,” says Rivero, a business administration major who hopes to someday work in product development and advertising for a large sports brand. “I also learned how to meet deadlines that seemed impossible, delegate tasks within a group based on individual strengths, respectfully debate and give criticism, and present in front of proven leaders.”

The second-place team, representing professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, collected a $500 prize ($100 per team member, $100 for the club). School of Management junior Kenneth Setiadi of Jakarta, Indonesia, led the team as captain; his teammates were School of Management students Deshawn Kunath of Schenectady and Chetinai Kalamaphichit of Sunnyside, along with George Gao, a junior civil engineering student at UB.

“My analytical and research skills improved greatly through participating in the case competition,” says Setiadi, a business administration student with concentrations in international business and marketing. “I was proud of the hard work we put into our presentation and of winning on behalf of our organization.”

In addition to Mazurkiewicz, judges for the competition included Target store team leaders Nancy Farrell; Megan Kane, BS ’03, PMBA ’08; Mike Pollutro, BS ’00; and Matt Pritchard, BS ’08. 

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,822 stores and at Since 1946, Target has given 5% of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. For more information, visit

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

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