Two months ago, we did not know what a business case competition was. Today, we are semifinalists of the world largest business case competition for undergraduate students*.
As 1st year students of emlyon business school’s MSc in Management, the four of us are members of emlyon junior conseil, the Junior-Entreprise of the school. Therefore, at the initiative of emlyon’s career centre, we formed our team made up of friends and colleagues. We were stimulated by the opportunity to learn more about strategic consulting and by the challenge.
We received the best coaching from Quentin Lopes, 2015 alumnus from the MSc in Management program, and former member of the Junior-Entreprise. We worked hard to get ready for the Paris round, reading relevant extracts of the Case In Point, pursuing training in real conditions with former cases and watching videos of the competiton.
STRUCTURE OF THE CASE
3 hours preparation
Only support: a 20-page business case (without any phone or computer).
20 minutes of presentation
Visual support: handmade slides prepared during the 3 hours.
15 minutes of Questions&Answers
Exhibit 1: Structure of a case.
On May 4th, we competed in Paris. In the morning, we were already happy to visit HSBC’s buildings on the Champs Élysées. At the end of the day, we had won a ticket for the world final competition in Hong Kong.
During our trip to Hong Kong, we evolved in an incredible environment: great hotel, tasteful restaurants, etc. But do not believe that this week was restful: each day, we were stimulated from 6 am to 11 pm non-stop. It was not only about competing each morning (see exhibit 1) and being stressed about the results. It was also about discovering amazing places (HSBC data center for instance) and constantly socializing with executives and students from all around the world.
We made it until the semifinal after winning against the Hong Kong team, which was a great achievement in the local competition.
Developing a business posture, a structured analysis and presentation, speaking in front of an audience, working and acting as a team, applying concepts we learnt during our academic path to concrete cases: these are all transferable skills we learnt and improved during this amazing experience. We tried to think out of the box in our recommendations by finding concrete examples, corresponding to a specific culture. For instance, we used WeChat as a financial partnership in the case related to Mark&Spencer in China, #earlymakers.
Now, we aim at participating in other business case competitions and in organizing regular business case competitions within emlyon business school.
Joséphine Oge, Alexandre Mansotte, Clément Lecomte, Auriane Tang
*HSBC/HKU 2018 Asia Pacific Business Case Competition