The 2020 BCom Case Competition

By Seth Robinson

Each year the BCom Case Competition (BComp) tasks students with solving a real-world business problem for an industry partner. We spoke with students and partners to find out what happened in the 2020 competition.

This year, the University of Melbourne partnered with the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation to develop a unique case for BCom students to crack, and event partners Strategic Project Partners (SPP) and UBS, who provided judges and development workshops as part of the competition.

Lisa McMurray from the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation (AbCF) gave us her feedback on the case competition.

Group Photo
A group photo of the BComp participants.

‘AbCF had previously partnered with the University of Melbourne’s National Indigenous Business Summer School (NIBSS) program earlier in the year and that opportunity led to the inclusion of our case study in the 2020 BComp event. The work produced by the students surpassed anything we could have ever imagined.  The quality of the presentations and product development was equal (and even more so) to any of the companies we have contracted in the past.  AbCF is without any internal marketing expertise and therefore unaware of the many potential marketing opportunities that arose through the competition.’ She says. ‘From start to finish our involvement in the BComp has been seamless.  The professionalism of the staff involved, the planning and briefing provided to AbCF before the event went life was of superior quality.  In our capacity as judges and providing a case study for BComp, the virtual format worked really well.’

For Cameron Fisher from SPP, who provided members of the judging panel, prizes and the ‘Crack the Case’ workshop, the experience was equally rewarding.

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‘For SPP, the BComp provides us an opportunity to connect with the many talented Commerce students at the University.  Our consultants enjoy spending time with participants during the workshop and judging sessions. It also provides our team an opportunity to share their deep expertise and knowledge around how to approach solving complex business challenges. Alongside this, the event lines up well to the recruitment process for our Summer Internship Program. Many of the BComp participants will often apply to our internship, plus each member of the winning team gets a guaranteed interview spot.’

Mandy Qu and Anthony Wong were both members of the winning team. They shared a few of their thoughts with us following the competition.

BCom Students presenting
One of the final presentations.

‘The BComp was a fabulous experience. Not only was I able to learn about a whole new industry, the carbon market, but also to take a deep dive and examine some of the issues it may be facing and to come up with innovative ideas and solutions,’ says Mandy. ‘This was my first case comp, so it was interesting doing it all online. I think it has its advantages though, the whole process ran really smoothly and efficiently, and I think it worked well both for our team managing our project and as an event.’

Anthony has some advice students thinking about taking on the BComp in future.

‘I think it’s important to emphasise the importance of having a go. The level of prior experience in consulting or case competitions doesn’t matter, that’s what you’re there to learn. I think the main skill I developed was the ability to break down a complex problem into a series of steps to achieve an overall outcome. It was also a chance to hone our teamwork, communication, and creativity, all of which are important in the workplace.’