Bronze in Network of International Business Schools Business Case CompetitionFour LSBU students returned home with bronze from the renowned Worldwide Network of International Business Schools Business Case Competition
As one of the oldest business case competitions in the world, this annual event draws teams from business schools around the globe and challenges them to demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and business skills, adaptability and teamwork under pressure. During the finals, teams compete head-to-head in each round, analysing a case study for four hours and then presenting their recommendations to a panel of academic and business professional judges. The judges then score each team before deciding on a winner.
The LSBU team consisted of Miek De Smet (BA Marketing), Zaryoon Sheikh (BA Business Studies), Richard Hart (BA Accounting and Finance) and Naseeba Mhearban (BA Business Studies), and was coached by Jon Warwick, Christina Anderl and Anna Howard, who trained the students for four months in preparation for this challenging competition.
A fantastic opportunity and a roller coaster of emotions
“The whole thing was a fantastic opportunity to say the least,” says Zaryoon. “Once we found out we had been invited to compete in Finland, that’s when the intensity of training kicked up a gear. Anna, Jon and Christina began to dissect our presentation styles and content for scrutiny, to perfect every aspect of our individual and group processes. Once we got to Finland, we felt that we had learnt everything we could, and it was time to show what we could bring to the table.
"The environment was tense as every team wanted to win, but as a team we thrived on the pressure. I found it was a roller coaster of emotions throughout the whole time I was there. I felt excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. I would hold my breath every time the judges were about to give their verdict. The most challenging thing for me, apart from the nerves and time pressure, was not knowing what the judges were thinking.”
The team performed exceptionally well in securing a bronze medal, beating rivals Leeds Beckett University (UK), International Business Academy (Denmark) and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, (Netherlands). LSBU was eventually eliminated in the semi-final round by the competition winners Carlton University (Canada).
A truly talented team
“The whole process was draining, but the days seemed to fly by,” adds Naseeba. “It was hard because we had to do ourselves, our mentors and the other members of the team justice, while our rivals had so much experience in competing. I remember speaking to a girl from Rotterdam University before the competition began and she told me that she had just flown in from Hong Kong where she had taken part in a different competition. It was scary and I can speak for us all when I say that we shocked ourselves when we got as far as we did and actually beat Rotterdam. My team are probably the best and brightest individuals I have ever met, and they are truly talented.”
An outstanding effort
Commenting on the team’s performance, Professor Mike Molan, Dean of the School of Business said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements of our students in the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition 2017. To qualify for the finals in Finland was great but to make it all the way through to the semi-finals only to be beaten by the eventual winners was little short of outstanding. My thanks go to the students for all the hard work they put in doing such a great job to represent LSBU and also to Jon, Anna, and Christina for their excellent support for our students.”
Enjoy the experience… and be yourself!
With the whole experience proving so successful for the four students and the university as a whole, what do Zaryoon and Naseeba feel they gained from taking part?
“Personally, I learnt a wide range of skills during my participation in the NIBS competition,” reveals Zaryoon. “I’d say the main ones are communication, focus, timekeeping, analysis, thinking outside the box and, most importantly, the skill of being able to have fun and to enjoy the experience, whether it be positive or negative. NIBS had made me realise that there is so much untapped potential in students and they can push their ability to new heights. What I learnt is the mixture of pressure, competition and achievement is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. I can now take the skills I learnt anywhere in life.”
“My experience has really opened my eyes to the business world and where I want to go in my career,” says Naseeba. “My NIBS experience taught me a lot, including how valuable an idea is. As a result, I have decided to launch my career in the IT industry as a consultant and will be starting up my own business idea called Smarket.
“The other thing it taught me is how important it is to be yourself. Throughout the competition, we saw teams go into the presentation room like robots, then go to the pub and be the bubbliest and happiest of people. The experience made me realise that by being yourself, if you failed and did not make it as far as you wanted, at least you could say you were true to yourself; something I don’t think the other teams were able to say.”
Anna Howard comments on the overall achievements of the team, "All three coaches were so very proud of the achievements of the team. Up against some fantastic universities and to come away with the bronze medal was outstanding. It was an incredible experience for both students and staff."