What do you say when the opportunity to represent your university in an epic seven day innovation challenge comes knockin’ on your door? Yeah, absolutely! I’m in.
Two weeks ago, myself and three team mates; Jack, Royce and Ella, were lucky enough to head to the land of fush n chups to compete in the SDS Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge at the Waikato Management School in Tauranga, New Zealand.
Over the course of five days, we were faced with the challenge of solving three diverse business cases in 5 hour and 12 hour timeframes for Sunfed Meats, Tourism Bay of Plenty and Zespri International.
These cases required us to develop international expansion plans, environmentally friendly tourism packages and certification systems as well as an entirely automatic robotic farming assistant and analytics division. And yes, you read that right…we did all that in a combined total of 22 hours!
It’s no secret the time in the room is nothing short of a rollercoaster through all stages of excitement, enthusiasm, worry, confusion and of course, delirium. However, what’s waiting on the other side makes it all worth it.
You come out with the most incredible sense of pride and newfound adoration for the teammates who helped you achieve this great feat.
I was so lucky to be in a team who maintained a consistent level of immense support and commitment to knowledge sharing and improvement throughout the week.
We harnessed our diverse skill sets and knowledge in marketing, finance, engineering and environmental sciences throughout the entire week which ultimately enabled us to win our division on all three case days and come home with first place overall! It just goes to show, teamwork DOES make the dream work.
As a marketing student, the unique skills I brought to the team were the ability to package each of our solutions in a well-designed manner as well as identify markets, communication channels and potential campaigns that would ultimately sell our solution. All skills which QUT shares with us throughout our marketing degree journeys.
Beyond the days spent crunching business cases, this experience also opened up the world to my teammates and I as we met high-performing individuals from 11 different global universities. Together with these new friends, we hit the town together, climbed mountains, experienced the beautiful Maori culture and dreamt of what it’d be like to live in ZURU’s 46-million-dollar mansion (that we got to visit!).
All in all, the week spent in New Zealand was one of the best experiences I have had during my time at QUT. I got to utilise the knowledge that’s been shared with me during my degree and network with so many incredible people who have immensely bright futures ahead of them. I also came home with three new best friends and a new favourite lecturer; looking at you Peter Green!
So, to any students seeking opportunities while at this great uni of ours, I say try out for the case competition team. You will not regret it for the world is a book and those who do not travel read only the first page.