The Associate

In our signature business case competition, students compete to win the ultimate prize for any graduating senior, a job offer. Along the way, they build their networks, skillsets and confidence in this unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


The Associate 2017

SECU Maryland returned this spring as the presenting company as the next crop of eight graduating seniors compete for a job offer from the credit union. SECU president and CEO Rod Staatz was so impressed with this year's candidates, he offered jobs to both finalists!

Congratulations to winners Jully Antunes and Lillian Hulbert! 

About the Competition

Held each spring, the competition provides eight graduating seniors with a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their business acumen while competing for a job offer and learning invaluable lessons from successful business leaders.

Throughout the course of the competition, area companies pose real-world business cases to the candidates, who split into two teams. One candidate is let go from the competition on a weekly basis until the final boardroom session when "The Associate" is named.

Examples of weekly cases include developing business plans for entering new markets, planning round table events, reorganizing warehouse space to increase inventory capacity, and developing a marketing plan for a new product. Participating companies have included Bank of America, McCormick & Co., r2Integrated, Sherwin Williams, Target, AOL, Kohl's, Enterprise and many more.

I tell people that I made two really smart decisions as a young person. Number one: I went to Towson University. And number two: I participated in the ‘Associate’ competition. Nowhere else would I have had the ability to get a little peek at what reality is like outside of college. ”


Presenting Executives

An executive leader from the Baltimore area serves as the presenting executive. This individual presides over the boardroom sessions, gives feedback and advice to students, and with the help of his or her panel, decides which candidates will progress throughout the competition.

What is it like to compete in the Associate?

We followed some of the candidates during the 2014 competition in this video.