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MBA students demonstrate creative competence through Jiffy Mix food competition

Judges of the competition
Judges of the competition

Students plate their food products for the judges Students plate their food products for the judges

Some students opted to create liquid products. Some students opted to create liquid products.

On October 13, Broad College of Business MBA students demonstrated their marketing skills in a final exam designed to incorporate familiar elements from the television shows “The Apprentice” and “Chopped.”

First-year students capped off their marketing management course by preparing for a high-stakes cook-off and sales competition, judged by a panel including local top chefs, a food blogger, and the CEO and president of Jiffy Mix Chelsea Milling Company.

Their products were required to include four ingredients: Jiffy Biscuit Mix, kale, lemon, and peppermint candy. Howdy Holmes, Jiffy’s CEO, donated the biscuit mix used as the base of each team’s composition.

Students plated the food products they made for judge consideration and hit the halls of the Business College Complex to promote their products. The winning teams were those that won the judges’ taste test and the popular vote of students and staff who tried the products.

“The objective of the course is to build creative and innovative competencies in our MBA students,” said Glenn Omura, acting associate dean for MBA and professional master’s programs and the course’s instructor. “What that means is that I have to figure out how to drill and develop skills in creativity and innovation. This test combined several of the skills we have worked on over the semester in a real-world format. The creativity of the students was tested in terms of how they were able to combine these not-so-normal ingredients along with the foundation of the Jiffy Mix.”

The exam gave students the opportunity to practice and demonstrate proficiency in product development and promotion.

“This competition is different from any final I’ve ever done,” said Timi Oyeloke (MBA ’16). “I’m having fun with it. Most are about concepts, but this is about the more applicable side—using what you learned. The course focuses on divergence and inductive reasoning. This is what will set Broad grads apart.”

“[This competition] is a good way to look at creativity, innovation, and marketing,” said Howdy Holmes, CEO & president of Jiffy Mix Chelsea Milling Company. “It’s fun to talk with the students and share their enthusiasm.”

Watch highlights from the exam experience:

The exam was also covered by the Lansing State Journal.


Eli Broad College of Business

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