How YU Won the TAMID National Competition
Although risky, rooting for the underdog sometimes turns out to be the wise choice. Every semester, one of the business clubs on campus brings together the best and brightest students in YU to compete in a case competition against over 60 universities. The largest and top universities across the globe compete in this national competition; some of the universities are even 10 times the size of Yeshiva University. However this past spring, for only the second time in history, Yeshiva University came in first place in the TAMID national case competition.
TAMID is a non-profit organization that, according to their website, “connects business-minded students from universities across the world to the Israeli economy.” TAMID offers four different tracks that allow students to explore various areas of the business world, including education, consulting, investment and technology. When joining TAMID all new members participate in the education track where they are exposed to basic business principles and the Israeli startup ecosystem. Each education semester culminates with the international case competition, where teams compete to solve a challenging business problem facing an Israeli company.
During my first semester as a member of TAMID’s education chapter, I participated along with my team in an effort to address specific business challenges faced by SodaStream, an Israeli company. In TAMID competitions, for the first round, students are randomly grouped into teams consisting of 3–5 people who also attend their university and compete against fellow students within their school. In the second round, the winning team from each participating university then advances to compete against all the winning teams from each of the other schools. I remember initially feeling confident in our chances of winning the primary competition that was exclusively among the other YU teams, but winning the national case competition against top universities seemed almost impossible.
The 3-person team that included Ezra Wallach (SSSB ‘25), Jake Schochet (SSSB ‘24) and myself was just a group of strangers who were put together through names picked out of a hat. Our initial lack of familiarity with each other could very well have posed a challenge and hindered our success, but over time, as we invested countless hours into working together on solving the issue at hand, our individual strengths began to complement each other and our commitment to the team grew. I’ll be the first to admit that initially, the project at hand did not excite us too much. However, after countless Facetime calls of brainstorming sessions, this issue became something we were not only passionate about but dedicated to solving. This passion and drive that quickly developed within our group was the driving force behind the success of our project as well as the support of our coach, Lieba Weiss (SCW ‘23), who often joined our calls and was constantly available over text, facilitating our growing passion towards the project.
SodaStream is a widely known carbonated beverage company based in Israel. During one of our many team meetings my teammate, Ezra Wallach, mentioned how he had heard about an Israeli company called Helios that was originally created as a space company, but had developed a novel method to produce metal. At first, we joked about how crazy of an idea it would be to have SodaStream partner with them. However, after doing more research we discovered that this could be a perfect way for SodaStream to produce their metal canisters in an environmentally friendly way and help them move towards an ESG strategy. With more research, we even discovered that the two companies were only a 30-minute drive from each other, making them an even more perfect fit.
After securing first place competing against the other YU teams, we were thrilled. Our countless late nights were finally paying off, but that was just the beginning. We then had to get ready to face the top universities from around the world, and we had just one day to finalize our presentation before submitting it to TAMID national. Despite being cautioned by many not to set our expectations too high and reminded that, despite our YU victory, we were about to compete against some of the most esteemed schools, we refused to be discouraged. We worked throughout the night refining our presentation and ensuring that it was perfect, because we knew that if we wanted a chance at beating top-tier universities, perfection was essential.
My teammates and I, despite having been strangers just a few weeks ago, quickly came together and formed a cohesive team. We took the time to recognize each other's distinct strengths and seamlessly integrated them into the final project. The following day marked the deadline for submitting our video presentation to TAMID national. We recorded and re-recorded our presentation many times, striving for nothing short of perfection. When we eventually achieved the level of excellence we were aiming for, we felt a sense of relief and hope. The countless hours and dedication we had invested in the project over the past few weeks was beginning to finally pay off.
A few weeks later, we received the exhilarating news of our first-place victory in the national competition. All our hard work had finally paid off. More importantly, this achievement conveyed a crucial message — never underestimate the underdog. Yeshiva University, while not the largest institution, celebrated its second first-place win in TAMID’s national competition.
Photo Caption: Yeshiva University, while not the largest institution, celebrated its second first-place in Tamid's national competition.
Photo Credit: Liorah Yaghoubzar