Here at the Foster School of Business, we have many opportunities to be more involved in the school. I personally think that one of the most interesting and fun ways to incorporate concepts learned in class are by competing in case competitions. My team of 3 friends (Melly, Katie, and Michelle) and I decided to work together on the IKEA International Case Competition held here at Foster. Over the course of 2 days, we were given the task of developing an international expansion plan for a Chinese herbal beauty products company, Herborist. We did extensive research and used our individual talents to put together a solid strategy for Herborist, which we then put in PowerPoint form and presented to two separate panels of judges in the preliminary and final rounds. Our hard work paid off and we won the first place $1000 IKEA prize, but perhaps more importantly, the connections with the executive panel of judges and the ability to put the win on our resumes.
I would encourage all students to try at least one case competition while here at Foster. It is a great way to practice public speaking in a business context and is a fantastic way to highlight your strengths. With such a time crunch, you and your team have to be able to work efficiently together and avoid falling prey to group level biases (MGMT 300 will teach you about that). I will admit that I was nervous presenting, but the benefits of putting myself out there and stepping up to the challenge dispelled any hesitations I had. There are many cases held throughout the year by different organizations and companies, so try one out for yourself soon. I guarantee it will be worth the effort!
- Justin C.