US Strategy Challenge: Sprint to the Finish - Final Event Preparations

US Strategy Challenge: Sprint to the Finish - Final Event Preparations

by Michael, Morgan Stanley Team Member from Children of Promise, NYC
Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 10:45am


At this point, our team is in what we're calling the "working all hours phase" as we try to get everything done before the Strategy Challenge Final Event. Last week, we put in more hours than ever before on the project, in addition to continuing our day-to-day job responsibilities. We're practicing our presentation every day for different Managing Directors, the most senior executives at Morgan Stanley, as well as for our divisional teams. The support we've received for this project has been vast. After each dry run, we receive feedback, tweak the presentation, and then practice again the next day.

The Final Event presentation on June 11 will be very different than our midpoint and final meetings with our clients at Children of Promise, NYC. Unlike our partners Sharon and Rebecca, the judges at the Final Event will have no existing knowledge of CPNYC. We also have a very limited timeframe to convey a substantial amount of information. Each of the 12 teams that participated in the Strategy Challenge will have just 15 minutes for their final presentation, 12 minutes for a question and answer session with a panel of judges, and three minutes for a testimonial from the director of the team's nonprofit partner.

Our team is trying to be explicit – but not verbose – in our presentation. We want to convey the depth of our analysis to the judges and then use the Q&A period to really solidify our answer to the question. In our mind we've already "won" for our nonprofit with the advice we were able to provide. However, we're proud of our collaboration, analysis and final recommendations, and it would be the icing on the cake to have our efforts recognized across the firm as the winning team.

Regardless of what happens on June 11, this project has opened up my world at Morgan Stanley and allowed me to get to know colleagues whom I would never have had the opportunity to meet. Ten weeks ago we barely knew one another, and now we have something important in common: We worked together on one of the most meaningful projects of our careers.

Working directly with Sharon has also been life changing for me. Earlier in this blog, my colleagues touched upon what a positive powerhouse she is. It's incredible that the children who participate in CPNYC's programs have someone as passionate as Sharon looking out for them. She and her team have created an environment where the children of incarcerated parents can simply be kids.

I've offered to keep working with CPNYC, helping them with the financial model we created for them and using data and metrics to further strengthen the organization. Having an impact on CPNYC through my analytical skills has been a truly unique experience – one I look forward to continuing.

For more information about the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, please visit: