International Executive Challenge

executive challenge logo

Are leaders born or made? While research suggests that innate ability can be helpful, the most effective leaders are forged through the fires of experience.

The International Executive Challenge is a one of a kind, fast-paced simulation where teams from across the globe face off in an immersive leadership development experience. Student teams have the unique opportunity to place themselves in the shoes of c-level executives, solve complex real-world business problems and test their leadership in front of experienced leaders who act as a board of directors.


  • This is a virtual event
  • Teams are comprised of 4 individuals
  • The competition has two rounds
  • Every team competes in the first round, and the top three teams move-on to the second/final round
  • The final round will take place immediately after the first round
  • Finalist teams will receive a twist in the case and prepare a new presentation for the final round
  • Teams receive the case one week before competition day
  • Teams prepare a 10 minute oral presentation (no slides or handouts) based on given questions
  • Presentations are delivered to their company's board of directors (executive judge panel)
  • Following their presentations, teams will receive developmental feedback and questions
  • A scoring rubric will be sent to teams along with the case one week before the event
  • Prize money is awarded to the top three finishers:
    • 1st place team - $2000
    • 2nd place team - $1000
    • 3rd place team - $400

Get Involved

To learn more, please contact the Stephen R. Covey Leadership Center at

Key Dates

Spring 2022 Applications
Opens: November 1, 2021
Closes: February 28, 2022

Event Date & Time
Case delivered to teams: TBA
Competition day TBA

Networking Event

All teams are invited to participate in an optional networking event one week after the IEC. Occurring over Zoom, participants will be able to connect with individuals on the other interational teams in fun and engaging ways. Please join us to expand your network and broaden your cultural awareness.

Date: TBA
Time: TBA

Robin Hijzen

The International Executive Challenge was a very intense but extremely rewarding experience through which we were able to develop ourselves as a team and as future leaders!

— Robin Hijzen, Erasmus University, Netherlands - 2021 Participant

2021 International Executive Challenge

On March 19, 2021 student teams from Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Erasmus University (the Netherlands), University of Zurich (Switzerland), Kühne Logistics University (Germany), Wharton, and Utah State University squared off in the first annual International Executive Challenge, hosted by the Stephen R. Covey Leadership Center, and sponsored by Align Org Solutions.

Judges included a member of the House of Lords and executives from Acumen Learning, FedEx, John Deere, Conservice, Align Technology, Zerorez Franchising Systems, McOmber Capital, AlignOrg Solutions, and SMCOVEY.

2021 Results

1st Place Team Erasmus University Team #2

2nd Place Team Erasmus University Team #1

3rd Place Team Utah State University Team #2