Rockhurst Business Students to Compete in Global Grundfos Challenge Finals in DenmarkMarch 12, 2013

Left to right: Eric Morgenstern, president/CEO, Morningstar Communications, Andy Holt, '13 MBA, Sarah White, '13, Jes Munk Hansen, president/CEO, Grundfos North America, Anna Juenemann, '14, and Andrew Warrington, president, Grundfos Indianapolis/Chicago.


Three Rockhurst University business students will travel to Denmark on Friday, March 15, to take part in the Global Grundfos Challenge Finals: Anna Juenemann, ’14, business and accounting, of Colby, Kan.; Sarah White, ’13, BSBA, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; and Andy Holt, ’13 MBA, also of Lee’s Summit, Mo. This team of students recently claimed a top spot at a business competition sponsored by Grundfos, a global leader in high-efficiency water technology, back in November, earning them the all-expenses-paid trip to the company’s home country.

In addition to the Rockhurst team, a team from Purdue University will also travel to Denmark.

These two North American teams will compete against each other as well as the winning teams from competitions held in Denmark and China. The team that wins the global challenge will take home $12,000 in prize money and an incredible résumé booster.

"I was incredibly impressed by the caliber of ideas I saw at the regional Grundfos Challenge," said Dennis Wierzbicki, president of Grundfos USA. "In just 22 hours of competition, the students arrived at some of the same conclusions that it’s taken the water industry decades to develop. Watching the teams present left me confident about the future of the water industry.”

Similar to the regional challenge, the global challenge will require students to work as a team to solve a new global water issue and turn theoretical knowledge into a practical business strategy. This time around, teams will have four days to develop a solution.

“This is a great manifestation of Jesuit education,” said Laura Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., professor of economics and faculty liaison to the Rockhurst team. “It is all about problem solving and a willingness to be open to understanding what you don’t know.”

As far as how Rockhurst managed to trump the other North American competitors, Juenemann says it was the time spent preparing for more than just the challenge itself.

“We spent a lot of time learning about the water industry,” said Juenemann. “This helped us get a feeling for who the big players are and what they are looking for in water technology innovations. To me, this is what helped set us apart and led to a product we were proud to share with the panel of judges.”

“Our success came from more than just finding a solution that addressed several of the issues at hand,” added Holt. “We solidified our success by tying our solution back to the values that Grundfos professes.”

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