Following on from our team’s great achievement in winning August’s international case competition in Thailand, SBE has announced that it will be holding its own competition for the first time in April 2010. It will be called International Case Competition@Maastricht, or ICC@M. Talkin’ Business talks to advisor and coach of the winning team and ICC@M project manager Bas van Diepen.
On October 2nd, SBE officially honoured the team who won the Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge in Bangkok in August: BSc students Valentina Cullmann, Katja Friedrichs, Nils Hoppe and Susanne Wolf, together with their advisors Bas van Diepen and Rudolf Baethge. “I was sure that we had a particularly good group for the Bangkok case competition,” says Bas van Diepen. “The openness to people from other countries and cultures is one of the strong features of SBE students. The Bangkok team’s mix of consideration, confidence and courage was exactly what was needed.”
SBE invited to compete for the ‘Champions Trophy’
Van Diepen had hoped that SBE would win with the cohort he took to the competition in Hong Kong in 2008. “We did get to the finals there however,” he adds. “That’s already a huge accomplishment of course, and that was the first time we’d achieved it since the first case competition in which SBE had taken part, at the University of Washington in 2005.” The win in Thailand has also meant that SBE has been invited to compete for the ‘Champions Trophy’ for the first time. “This is a competition held by the University of Auckland, featuring winners of recent international case competitions and other consistently successful teams. We’ve confirmed that we’ll take part in the next Champions Trophy in New Zealand early next year.”
The process of selecting, preparing and training SBE teams for participation in international case competitions begins by inviting about 50 IB and IBE students to apply. “This first group is chosen based on their grades and the goal of ensuring a mix in terms of gender, nationalities and academic interests. A review of their applications enables us to narrow this group down to a shortlist of 24, who are then invited to take part in a series of exercises in which we assess their English, presentation skills, confidence and so on. A pool of 16 is formed as a result, from which the teams of four who participate are selected. I won’t go into detail about the preparation and training, as we don’t want to give away our recipe for success, but it includes a number of sessions on presentation, analysis, and dealing with Q&A sessions.”
A ‘Maastricht touch’ for ICC@M
Having participated in international case competitions at some of the best business schools around the world for several years, SBE has announced that it will be holding its own competition, ICC@M, for the first time in April 2010. “We felt it was time for us to organize our own competition,” explains Van Diepen. “There will be a ‘Maastricht touch’, with students being challenged to address all-round international business cases and demonstrate responsible leadership and sustainability. We’d like to inspire students to come up with 21st century solutions to problems that require a considered response. As always in these competitions, a number of social programmes are currently being discussed. They are yet to finalized, but they will certainly make the most of Maastricht’s location close to the borders of three European countries and Brussels.”
Teams from 16 prestigious business schools from four continents have been invited to participate in ICC@M. Of these, 14 have already confirmed they will be taking part, including the University of Washington (Seattle), Fundaçao Getulio Vargas (Sao Paulo), National University of Singapore, Copenhagen Business School and HEC Montreal. In addition, Bas van Diepen tells Talkin’ Business that companies are being invited to support the event through sponsorship. “Being involved in a high-profile international higher education initiative and being associated with a highly-respected business school is only part of the value proposition,” he says. “They will be able to enhance their management development programmes by involving their managers in the three judging rounds. Faced with long-term talent shortages, they will also have a unique opportunity to identify high-flying undergraduates.”