“In our solution, the persona we used was a minority woman. We explored how [KeyBank] can use a minority persona to build relationships and expand beyond traditional customers,” Samala said.
“Through our persona, we are sharing a story about an Asian millennial woman and her impact throughout her multigenerational family. Her name is Maya, a millennial business woman. We used research about millennials and built a product that focused on building community,” Iqbal said.
“We come from different ethnic origins, but we were able to use our shared experience as Asian American women to refine the persona we used in our pitch. We were able to show how Maya’s family and community were structured, and I think that really brought her to life,” Taniguchi said.
Building a team
Just as their Maya character tapped into the resources of her community, Iqbal and Taniguchi met as part of the Carey community and started working together during one of their Carey accounting and finance courses. They then recruited Samala through the Carey case competition LinkedIn group. Iqbal and Taniguchi say that Samala’s background as a program manager and interest in leading the team’s financial analyses made her a perfect fit for the team.
While the judges evaluated the pitches based on presentation, financial analysis, and novelty of the solution, the chemistry and friendship of the team added to its success, according to the three students.
“The absolute best part for me was building lifelong friendships,” Taniguchi said. “For me, it wasn’t all about winning. Relationships must come first. You need mutual trust and respect to collaborate effectively. Leadership brings the best out of others, best in yourself, and best in all situations. We not only cultivated great friendships but worked virtually from different locations and experienced the true meaning of leadership, resilience, patience, teamwork, trust, and perseverance.”