IE Business School BBA Challenge

By Ned Scott

Most Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) students spend their summer either travelling and learning about new cultures, gaining business experience, or spending time with friends. For twenty of the Faculty’s best and brightest students, they get the opportunity to do all three through the International Case Competition (ICC) Program.

The ICC Program gives students the opportunity to represent the University of Melbourne and compete against other students around the globe and solve real-world business challenges. Cases range from anywhere between 5-32 hours, and involve the students developing a comprehensive strategy, then pitching their ideas to judges from the host company.

But before our five teams get to travel and represent our University at these competitions; the 2019 participants were trained by current students and alumni of the twenty-year program. The training consists of practice cases and interactive workshops to ensure that the participants are well-developed in their critical thinking, problem solving and public speaking skills.

One team, consisting of Jack Dalrymple, Kalindu Goddellewatte, Emma Fu, and Ned Scott, travelled to Spain in February to compete at the inaugural IE Business School BBA Business Challenge. IE Business School is part of the IE University and is among only 57 institutions worldwide to have been granted the prestigious Triple Accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS).

The competition took place over four days in Segovia, a small town just two hours from Madrid, and featured two cases. The first case gave the students the opportunity to explore the ethical implications of autonomous cars, whilst the second case focussed on emerging start-up ECOALF, whose innovative technology allow them to transform plastic waste into fashionable clothing.

University of Melbourne students represented Australia against business students from seven other universities, including IE Business School, BI Norwegian Business School, Rotterdam School of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ivey Business School at Western University, Foster Business School at The University of Washington and Sweden’s Lund University.

For students, the opportunity to meet and compete against other business students around the globe is just as valuable as any of the cases are. Kalindu Goddellewatte commented “While in Spain, we made life-long friends from all walks of life, giving us an appreciation for different cultures and a truly global perspective. Everyone at the competition was a high-achiever with such different professional backgrounds and career interests, enabling us to learn extensively from one another.”

Jack Dalrymple and Emma Fu
Jack Dalrymple and Emma Fu

Beyond developing strategies to solve business problems, and meeting new people from around the world, the students took advantage of their stay in Segovia, trying an assortment of tapas dishes and visiting the city’s most illustrative sites, including the Roman aqueduct, the Cathedral and the Alcázar.

Ned Scott was impressed by the beauty and cultural richness of the IE Business School location, which is located in the 800-year-old Convent of Santa Cruz La Real. “It was surreal to see how excavation sites had become study rooms and historical landmarks had been converted into libraries.”

Undergraduate, Graduate Coursework, and Graduate Research students from the Faculty of Business and Economics also have the opportunity to undertake an exchange program at IE Business School. IE provides a diverse, dynamic, well-connected environment where students can study an innovative, international program that will help students develop the necessary business acumen to pursue a successful career as an entrepreneur, or in a multinational organization.

Beyond Spain, students who travelled elsewhere reflected on the effect the International Case Competition program had on their University experience. Trianna Valdes, a student who competed in Auckland, said, “I came away from this program with a better understanding of who I am, a newfound confidence in myself, and best of all, a set of friends I know I will keep for life! I will forever be grateful for ICC and the toolset it has given me, no matter where I end up in my career.”

Bachelor of Commerce students who are interested in the International Case Competition program or internships and graduate roles in consulting are encouraged to participate in 2019 BCom Case Competition, proudly sponsored by Principal Partner, SPP. The BCom Case Competition offers opportunities for students to receive training from current management consultants and network with corporate sponsors. Additionally, there are amazing prizes on offer, including a share in $5,000 cash, guaranteed interviews for the ICC Program, and a guaranteed interview for SPP’s graduate/internship programs.