From Classroom to Success: Meet CBSV Consultants, the Winning Team of the 2023 MBS Case Competition

By Shal Segar

The MBS Case Competition challenges graduate students to apply classroom learnings to business problems faced by real organisations. Our 2023 competition winners, CBSV Consultants shared their experience with us; how they formed, worked in a team, their hopes and highlights.

This year, the Melbourne Business School (MBS) Case Competition partnered with Sovereign Hill Museums Association. Students were tasked with creating a marketing strategy for the Australian Centre for Rare Arts and Forgotten Trades in Ballarat.

Chadarak, Benedict, Sophia and Vidula rose to the challenge and formed CBSV Consultants and went on to win first place. Team members initially met as classmates. Having worked on group projects with each person, Chadarak initiated contact with each member to form the team.

Why they joined the competition

For Chadarak, joining the MBS Case Competition enabled her to have fun with friends while gaining consulting experience.

Benedict chose to complete his degree in Melbourne with the intention of mixing academic studies with industry experience. “Through experiences like the case competition, I am given the opportunity to apply the learnings from university to tangible problem-solving.”

Sophia held similar intentions, seeing the competition as an opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in class, while also hoping to impress the case partner. “I believed my participation in the competition would increase my employability.” 

Vidula completed an undergraduate degree in Finance and wanted to investigate the career opportunities available to her, particularly management consulting. “The MBS Case Competition presented an invaluable opportunity to acquire firsthand experience in consulting prior to commencing my professional career.”

Competition learnings

Having gone through the competition, attending case workshops, and taking on the judges’ feedback, team members learnt to focus on the problem at hand, making sure to clearly define a problem statement, absorb information about the case and use the supporting materials available. “Having complex analysis can sometimes get in the way of cutting to the core of the issue. Keep things simple, logical, and well-structured so you can communicate your point effectively and have implementable solutions. Use numbers meaningfully, sometimes, less is more.”

MBS Finals Winning Team and Judges
CBSV Consultants and Judges
Highlights and prize

Working together as a student team was a highlight of CBSV's journey. Members came from diverse backgrounds and enjoyed times of discussion, offering and hearing individual and diverse perspectives. The team noted that it is rare to have every member focused on success. Being united and like-minded played a significant role in boosting their morale and led to an outcome they were all proud of. “We enjoyed the challenge of pitching in front of an audience. Although it was nerve-racking, it was a useful experience that we took a lot from.”

Sovereign Hill partners made up the judging panel and were thrilled by participants’ enthusiasm for the competition. “The MBS Case Competition was a valuable opportunity for us to look at our strategies through the fresh eyes of students from diverse disciplines and experiences. Our team was delighted to be part of the program and have great optimism about what students will be able to do in their future careers.”

The prize for CBSV Consultants’ win included a $2,000 cash prize. Chadarak will use the funds in her daily expenses. Sophia is planning to donate half her share to various charitable organisations and reward herself with the rest. Vidula plans to invest most of it and also give herself a treat with the remaining funds.

“The money will help me fund my flights to Ho Chi Minh City for the 2024 Global Business Practicum,” said Benedict.

Tips for future participants

The team recommends anyone considering participating in a future competition enjoy the competition journey, as it offers more than just prizes. While winning a cash prize would certainly be desirable, the competition can provide students with skills distinct from those taught in class. “Participants experience both practical and theoretical learning while addressing real organisational challenges. Students also receive support and feedback throughout the competition.”

Their top tip for future competitors is to consider your client's perspective when devising solutions. “You must consider any constraints; good recommendations are both innovative and practical.”

Looking ahead

Team members carry a winning attitude and have positive aspirations for the future. When asked where they saw themselves in two years, Sophia envisioned herself having a career in academia or consulting, where she would continuously grow and make contributions to her profession.

Benedict hopes to land a graduate program in consulting. “I am passionate about solving society’s biggest issues, particularly in the management of natural resources and implementing innovation to create a sustainable future.”

Vidula’s interests lie in strategy consulting and aspires to impact local communities, transforming lives for the better. She looks forward to seeing how things unfold and the challenges to come.

Chadarak echoes the desire for her work to benefit the local community. She hopes to have applied her current learnings with MBS to create solutions for clients. “I’m excited to observe, discover and design solutions.” 

Congratulations to CBSV Consultants and we wish them a bright future ahead.

Are you a business interested in getting involved in the Melbourne Business School Case Competition? Please contact us to discuss how we can work together.

Are you a Melbourne Business School student wanting to participate in the next Case Competition? Find more information here.