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OSU team wins Fisher Biz Quiz 2nd year in a row

Colin McMahon, Adam Windnagel and Alex Doane won the Biz Quiz competition for OSU on Nov. 13, 2011.

Ohio State’s Biz Quiz team racked up a second consecutive championship last weekend, defeating 17 teams, including that school up north.

OSU’s champion team consisted of Colin McMahon, Adam Windnagel and Alex Doane.

Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business hosted the sixth-annual Biz Quiz competition last weekend. Sponsored by the Nationwide Financial Leadership Rotation Program, Biz Quiz challenged participants’ knowledge of The Wall Street Journal’s content from Sept. 27 to Nov. 8.

The questions were composed of information from on the front page of the What’s News, Marketplace, Money and Investing and the Personal Journal sections of the WSJ. Students from Fisher’s MBA program created more than 1,000 questions and narrowed the selection down to about 500 to be used in the competition.

Nancy Lahmers, Biz Quiz director, explained that the event was created by Fisher College faculty, Rao Unnava and a group of honors business students, who wanted to learn something new about the world.

“The students wanted to get out of the classroom and do something else besides case studies,” Lahmers said. “In the beginning, seven universities attended and now we have grown to 18 teams, who are competing for monetary awards in both the quiz and writing divisions.”

Each team consisted of three members. Lahmers explained that the top quiz team, OSU, will split $1,500, while the best writing team will split an award of $900.

Russ Johnston, a fifth-year in accounting and finance, served as Lahmers’ right-hand man for the weekend.

In preparing to host the teams, Johnston said his hard work paid off.

“I’d call myself the ‘problem-handler’,” Johnston said. “I’ve assisted Nancy (Lahmers) to make sure everything goes smoothly. It will be a great experience to see the knowledge they’ve picked up from the newspaper articles used in the competition.”

The day of competition began at 7 a.m. Saturday. The competition was scheduled in a series of rounds to narrow 18 teams down to the top nine. After the first round, University of Michigan, OSU, Texas A&M, Michigan State, University of Minnesota, University of Kentucky, University of Iowa, University of North Carolina and Miami University competed in the semi-final round.

The three teams with the highest scores from the semi-final round, OSU, University of Michigan and Texas A&M, competed in the final round Sunday.

Participants also had the opportunity to take part in individual written tests, attempting to earn a spot in Nationwide’s FLRP, created to develop financial leaders and educate in the developmental components required for future business leaders. Interviews for the participants who earned the top spots in the written competition were conducted at the Biz Quiz. Winners will be announced at a later date.

The final buzzer rang out on Sunday from Nationwide’s Corporate Headquarters in downtown Columbus. For the last stage of the competition, the top-three teams sat down with moderator Krishnan Anantharaman, managing editor from the WSJ, to leave it all on the table in the last round.

Windnagel, a third-year in finance and German, has been on the winning team for two years. He credits the team’s success to sizing up the competition.

“Most of the intensity comes down to strategy,” Windnagel said. “It’s more on if we can answer before the other teams.”

When the votes were tallied, the Ohio State team was named the Biz Quiz competition champion. University of Michigan placed second and Texas A&M came in third.

Besides the ink smudges on their fingers from rummaging through the WSJ and indents on their thumbs from hitting the buzzer, Lahmers said she hopes the students gained a new appreciation for the written word.

“Everyday things that go on in the world effect all of us,” Lahmers said. “By having students read the paper, they are gaining an education that we could never teach them.”

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