We already felt so honoured but the better word would be surprised that we were selected amongst the nine teams that were supposed to compete against each other of SBS. It was 5 am, when my alarm rang and then we met at 8 am at Kräftriket, the beautiful campus of SBS. Briefly we talked about the most important issues that we had been discussing the day before when we prepared: be structured, 30 minutes of reading…. and be finished 30 minutes in advance in order to practice the presentation together. Then it was 8:30, it was time to start reading, time to start the competition, time to participate in the KPMG International Case Competition.
With this Case Competition each team gets 3 hours to solve the case that they are provided with, but they cannot ask any help from external parties, hence the teams don’t have access to Internet. In light of this, the teams were asked to hand in their cell phones as well. The teams were divided into three pools of three teams, and then the winner of each pool had to compete against each other, resulting in the winner of the case competition of SBS. This winning group is going to represent our business school at the national competition in Lund against the other participating universities and that winner will represent Sweden in Dubai to compete against 30 other participating countries! That is such an amazing goal: to compete in Dubai!
So the first case was very interesting and not easy to solve of course, but we did our best and due to the educational and cultural diversity in our team we were able to come up to solutions at the end of the 3 hours. Marketing, Accounting and Operations Management were the master programs that our group reflected. We had to present in front of four judges… That was so scary, because this was going to be the official presentation! After the presentation we immediately had to go for lunch and after that they announced the winners. In the end, it worked out fine and we won the first round!! We were so happy, but we could not express our happiness that long as the next case study started immediately (or 5 minutes) after the announcement.
Precisely after three hours we were supposed to present our case to the “board of directors”, but now the presentation was in the big lecture hall and also other visitors were able to watch our presentation. Even more people, making us more nervous! After the presentation all the participants were invited to a dinner in Uppsala, where we met the participants of Uppsala University. There they announced the winners of both universities… Congratulations to the group that won! Unfortunately, we did not win the competition.
In the end, participating in these case competitions is not about winning. First of all it is about the experience of case solving under time pressure itself. This is good for your personal development and could help you in case solving interviews later on in your career. Second of all, you will get the chance to get to know the company a little better and get to talk to employees of the specific company, so you can explore the company culture. We were not sad at all that we did not win in the end; we have gained experience in public speaking, case solving, case solving under time pressure and we belonged to the top 3 of SBS!