Zendesk Case Competition

Zendesk partnered with The Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL) at the Berkeley Haas School of Business, in support of EGAL’s mission to develop Equity Fluent Leaders™ who ignite and accelerate change. 

As part of this partnership, Zendesk and EGAL teamed up with Berkeley Women in Business on an annual case competition, giving undergraduate students at UC Berkeley the opportunity to solve a real-world challenge at Zendesk and leave their mark on the corporate world. 

The first year of the competition saw student teams redesign Zendesk’s internal mentorship program for women on a global scale. On pitch day, 26 teams presented to a panel of judges with ideas ranging from creating a mentorship website to hosting global conferences at Zendesk.

The winning team developed an app for Zendesk, which allowed mentors and mentees to log in, check events, connect with each other outside of mentoring sessions, watch videos, and collect data to assess progress. The team were offered an internship with Zendesk at their corporate headquarters to implement the mentorship program and transform their ideas into impact.

In year two, the student teams were challenged to design and scale a model for a global diversity champion in each of Zendesk’s 17 locations. The competition attracted 140 applicants and 12 finalist teams were selected to present to leadership at Zendesk. 

Their recommendations involved selecting diversity champions through an assessment that tested for an understanding of reading materials reflecting Zendesk’s culture. The selected champions were then tasked with collecting office feedback, hosting town halls, maintaining ERG relations, and spearheading a mentorship program focused on employees from marginalized backgrounds. Champion incentives included an annual forum with senior leadership, networking opportunities, and a recognition award. 

The next competition will be held on September 18, 2020 and will feature a new topic and new students eager to take on the challenge of creating meaningful change in business.

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