Castles & Case Analysis: Foster goes to Pamplona for UNICC 2018

Mid-March found four Foster undergraduates – Cody Ng, Rose Jao, Skye Scofield, and Davin Yeom – and their faculty advisor, Marty Matthews, on their way to Pamplona, Spain. The team had been training together for months to compete in the Universidad de Navarra International Case Competition, a prestigious destination and one in which the students were excited to participate. The competition was rigorous, including two short cases and one long case analysis, but punctuated with side trips to San Sebastian and Olite’s Gothic castle-palace. Read on to learn more about the team’s experiences in Spain:

“Competing in an international case competition has been one of my biggest goals since joining Foster as a freshman. The opportunity to compete in Pamplona, Spain was simply surreal. I truly believe that case competitions are the best application of skills learned in the classroom, especially for students like myself looking to pursue consulting. During the span of the week we competed in three separate cases: a 3-hour case on Monday, another 3-hour case on Tuesday, and a 24-hour case from Thursday to Friday. The Monday and Thursday cases were on real Spanish companies, and we had an actual employee as a judge! The challenge of presenting and developing strategies for a different country stretched my comfort zone and helped me grow as an international businessperson. Not only was the competition an excellent learning experience, but we also got to befriend ambassadors and fellow teams from around the globe. We danced, laughed, and evaded sleep through the week of a lifetime.”

-Rose Jao, ’19

L to R: Skye Scofield, Rose Jao, Davin Yeom, Cody Ng, and Marty Matthews at UNICC 2018.

“While there have been a lot of undergrads who’ve crossed the Atlantic for a trip to Europe, I am now able to count myself among the lucky few went to Europe for a case competition. As a competitor in the University of Nevarra International Case Competition, I had the opportunity to represent UW in an intense competition against top level talent. UNICC was held in Pamplona, an extraordinary city, and as we walked ancient cities with fellow students from all around the globe, I was struck by the uniqueness of our situation. Here we were, thousands of miles from our places of birth, communicating in the same language, brought together by our shared desire to apply new ideas, grow as people, and develop as professionals. While I relished the opportunity to compete at the highest level, I appreciated the chance to meet like minded students from around the world even more. While our team didn’t win, we got to see what the best presentations in the world look like, experience beautiful cities, eat great food, and make friendships that will last a lifetime.”

-Skye Scofield, ’19

“Competing in the University of Navarra Case Competition (UNICC) had a profound impact on me, both personally and professionally. For me, it was my last opportunity to compete in a case competition on an international level, but more significantly, my last opportunity to immerse myself in the global case competition experience – making new friends, attaining global perspectives, struggling through hours and hours of work, meeting tight deadlines, and much more. In particular, UNICC tested my ability to stay on my feet, adapt, and develop diverse perspectives as three unique cases were distributed throughout the course of the week, each of which held its own story, issue, and potential solutions. As such, this allowed my team and I to practice efficient, structured problem solving across three different companies/cases. On a more personal level, case competitions have allowed me to make friends all around the world — something I’ve truly cherished and appreciated. UNICC was no different. I had the pleasure of meeting competitors from Vancouver (Canada), Singapore, Hong Kong, etc., and I’m more than excited to keep in touch with them in the future! All in all, UNICC was an impactful experience both personally and professionally; I’d highly recommend case competitions (and UNICC) to all students of Foster as I believe that they’ve contributed a very significant amount to my growth in college.”

-Cody Ng, ’18

UW’s UNICC team mingles with fellow international competitors during the competition’s final dinner.

“Competing at UNICC was an eye-opening experience to see different approaches to analytical thinking, strategizing, and presentation styles by students from all over the world. In the past, I have participated in case competitions in, and outside of, the Global Case Competition Club (GC3) and all those competitions have been at Foster. Though varying in solutions and presentation from team to team, there has always been sense of similar style or approach to thinking due to the way we were taught in school and our shared environments. However, watching the final rounds at UNICC, the sense of familiarity was replaced with amusement and genuine appreciation for the variety of ways each team analyzed, packaged, and presented their solutions. UNICC was a humbling experience and a great reminder as to why engaging with people from different backgrounds, with different knowledge bases, and levels of experience is emphasized in our education at Foster as we prepare to go into the work force.”

-Davin Yeom, ’18

Skye, Davin, Rose, Kirsten Aoyama (Director of Foster’s Global Business Center), Shelley Hovind (supporter of the Global Business Center), Marty, Cody, and UW’s UNICC Ambassador at the closing dinner.

The Global Business Center is proud to sponsor these students and promote international collaboration across the globe. To find out more about case competitions and opportunities to compete in them, follow the Global Business Center on Facebook and check out the Global Competitions page on the GBC website.