If you put ten bumble bees in a box, this box is going to mean a unique thing to each bee in the box. And if these are a rather expressive bunch of bees, you might also get to hear how peculiarly each bee made sense of that box.
This is exciting. Wait. Pick these bees from an assortment of orchards. If you give them sufficient time and space, the bees may build the box afresh into a hive. Add access to a garden. With a stock of exotic flowers carefully handpicked. I let you imagine the hive, the nectar and the honey.
To those readers who detest metaphors:
If you believe that a business school is just about taking classes, reconsider.
B-schools offer students a wide scope of extra hands-on opportunities to apply what they're learning—and creative case competitions are one of those exercises. Amid these, teams of students are invited to analyze a particular business challenge, give spearheading thoughts and solutions to that challenge, and present them to a board of recognised judges, who are frequently senior leadership at organizations from around the country.
But completing an MBA is tough enough; why add to your workload?
Despite the fact that they probably won't be a required piece of your educational modules, case competitions are well worth considering.
In addition to encouraging your creativity, corporate competitions offer the following accompanying advantages:
- Networking: Not only is this a chance to learn from your teammates but also to meet and mingle with student teams from around the top management institutes going through the same experience.
Case in Point: Reckitt Benckiser’s RB Global Challenge looks for pathbreaking and self-sustaining ideas with significant social impact from the brightest students of the top global b-schools. Teams from XIMB were declared the Regional Qualifiers this year.
- Travelling: Most case competitions include the opportunity to attend either the whole competition or just the finals on the host school’s campus. Here’s your ticket to visit that city you’re hoping to work in post your MBA! Better yet, this is an incredible chance to become familiar with different cultures and business realities.
Case in Point: Carpe Diem, organized by HUL is a unique opportunity for bright minds from select B-Schools to work with HUL on a live project and to get a chance to do the summers under the prestigious Unilever Leaders Internship Programme (ULIP). And all this by means of an interesting case study competition! Teams from XIMB competed against teams from IIFT, SIBM Pune, MDI Gurgaon, IMT Ghaziabad, NMIMS & MICA and were declared campus winners and National Finalists for HUL Carpe Diem Season 5 the final round to which happened at HUL’s Corporate Office in Mumbai.
- Experiential Learning: Case competitions are an excellent way to gain additional experience in a particular industry of interest, especially if you’re looking to change careers. Competitions focus in on every imaginable business topic, from marketing and finance to industry-specific competitions including real estate and healthcare.
Case in Point: 'Intelligent YOU' is a business case study competition by Accenture which looks for ideators who can give the most innovative solutions for real business challenges. Students from XIMB were declared National Winner and Runners-Up for Intelligent YOU Accenture Idea Contest 2018.
- Knowledge Application: Taking part in case competitions enables you to apply the knowledge you’re learning in the classroom to an actual business challenge, as well as gain experience presenting the solution to a high-level jury.
Case in Point: The Credit Research Challenge (CRC) is an annual, international competition that assesses post-graduate students on their knowledge in the credit research and analysis domain. This year, students from XIMB were declared the National Winners of Credit Research Challenge 2018-19.
- Job/Internship Offers: Most case studies are either sponsored by or include the involvement of local and international companies. Winning these, or even impressing particular judges, can result in invaluable networking opportunities with specific companies you might be keen on working with post-graduation.
Case in Point: Tata Steel-A-Thon is an annual B-School competition open for both final and pre-final year MBA students. Students from XIMB were declared the National Finalists of TATA Steel-A-Thon Season 5 and were offered pre-placement offers with TATA Steel.
- Rewards & Prizes: Many of the case competitions have significant cash prizes for winners, ranging from a few thousands to lakhs, providing an additional incentive for students to enter.
Case in Point: TITAN ELEVATE, a case challenge by TITAN invites teams participating from the top management schools in the country and offers rewards in lakhs. This year, students represented XIMB in the National Finale.
- Making an Impact: A growing number of case competitions centre around live cases in which a specific business exhibits a case they're at present dealing with and invites students to provide feedback and innovative ideas and solutions to help them deal with this challenge. This way students can have an immediate impact on the business world.
Case in Point: V-Guard’s Big Idea Business Plan Contest invites students from top B-schools and Engineering Colleges across India to propose a well thought through, creative and comprehensive business plan for V-Guard’s future growth and consolidation. Teams from XIMB were declared the 1st Runner Up- National Level and National finalists this year.
- Thrill: Case competitions are quick, often intense experiences in which students often only have a few hours to read and analyze the case, come up with solutions, and present them to a jury. Many thrive on these opportunities and list them as highlights of their degree.
Case in Point: HSBC IB league is the flagship case study competition of HSBC. Team from XIMB was declared National Winners of HSBC IB league 2018 and were given PPI Offers to work with HSBC.
And why am I spending paragraphs expounding on the significance of case study competitions?
My life’s turning point was when I got declared as the National Finalist & Campus Winner of HUL - Speed Mentoring Program 2018. Hindustan Unilever Limited's Speed Mentoring Program gives one an opportunity to be mentored by the business leaders at HUL's Corporate Office and network with the best talent across the nation.
The application was curious enough for me: elaborate and sharp, making me reconsider how I judge and present my past activities. It was a space where I could not just list things and leave it to the panel’s judgment but how I uniquely describe my journey to MBA. The experience was productive and offered bits of knowledge to the FMCG's product-lines and their competitors.
In addition to this, the exposure that I got amid the mentorship program gave me a lot to talk about during my SIP interviews and helped me land my dream internship!
So regardless of whether you're focused ordinarily or could utilize some inspiration to move yourself, taking an interest in corporate competitions offers a fantastic chance to engage in teamwork, get a genuine taste of the business world, and make paramount associations over a common encounter.