Engineering, business students face off in annual week of competition

Eunice Ali

Students from the Cockrell School of Engineering and McCombs School of Business are celebrating the “classic rivalry” between both schools by showcasing their physical and mental muscles in a week of competition that began Monday.

Engineering vs. Business Week, hosted annually by Student Engineering Council and Undergraduate Business Council, is a week-long series of contests, ranging from a trivia quiz to a case competition to a dodgeball game.

“The main goal is to promote inter-council competitions so business and engineering students can get to know each other,” Symridhi Mahajan, SEC co-chair and biomedical engineering senior, said. “[The rivalry] has been a tradition for the past couple years to foster a bigger community in both schools.”

Mahajan said she also had the opportunity to learn about UBC through this event.

“They’re very professional — they mentioned that email is their primary mode of communication while we use Facebook a lot,” Mahajan said. “When we have a meeting on Thursday, we’d say, ‘We have tests tomorrow,’ while they don’t have class on Friday. I thought it was funny how that works.”

UBC co-chair Dana Hwu said, although engineers and business professionals often have different jobs, many times they also have to work together.

To model this, UBC partnered with Accenture to host a “design, build, sell” case competition in which groups consisting of two engineering and two business students worked together on building materials and solving business consulting problems, Hwu said.

“Accenture, a consulting firm, has been a consistent sponsor for EvB Week for years,” Hwu said. “They have hired a lot of business and engineering students from UT.”

Derek Schnur, supply chain management and electrical engineering senior, said engineering focuses on how the system operates, while business focuses on how to keep the entire system running as a whole.

“They’re visions of two different mindsets,” Schnur said. “I think the case competition is the best way throughout the week that helps the collaboration between business and engineering — it’s the key thing they’re trying to accomplish.”

Schnur, who co-chaired this event through UBC in spring 2013, said he will participate in the dodgeball game and join the business team because they have fewer people.

In 2013, engineering won the competition, and last year, business claimed the victory. This year so far, engineering has been leading the scores, and come what may, the eyes of Texas shall be upon them. The competition concludes Friday.