So, there are these things called business case competitions. In a nutshell, all these different universities from around the world send four or so business students to analyse, solve and present business solutions, it’s a bit like management consulting. Last year I was lucky enough to compete in a few of these. You get to travel to the most amazing places and meet really incredible people from all over the world.
This week, I was in Maastricht, near the bottom of the Netherlands. Ash and Larry (our advisor extraordinaire) had already been in Europe for a few days but when I met Rob and Luke at Dusseldorf airport, they had just finished 30 HOURS of travelling! After my 2 hours, I really appreciated the convenience of England.
The competition, ICC@M, had 16 teams from all over the world. Everywhere from America to Singapore, Germany to Hong Kong. We did a t-shirt exchange and ended up with shirts from Italy, Portugal and New Zealand!
We did three cases in total – the first two were three hours of preparation and the last was 24 hours. Three hours absolutely flies by when you have to read a case, pull together the data, create a solution/strategy and create a twenty minute presentation. The first case was about Hugo Boss fragrances and we came third in our division. The second one was about Amrath Grand Hotel and we won our division for that case! YAY! The final case was about APG, one of the biggest superannuation fund in the Netherlands and we had to advise them on an investment opportunity in timberland internationally. I never thought I’d know so much about the investment implications of the forestry industry.
In the middle of the week we also went for a bike ride to Belgium because you can do that here! Just crazy!!
We ended up being really great friends with the team from Italy. They didn’t have an advisor so Larry took them under his wing so we did our preparation and socialising mostly with them. I really appreciated having some girls to hang out with and not being out numbered four to one in the QUT team anymore!
So after all our fun competing, sightseeing and partying in Maastricht, the week was over! Bidding farewell to everyone is always sad but we have great memories of our time together and new friends to visit all over the world.
I then decide to spend a day in Dusseldorf because my friend Ramona lives there. We first visited her family and then went for a walk around the city. We went up the tower which had an amazing view of the city. There are lots of really old buildings and the whole city is around the Rhine. Ramona showed me all the cool sites and we had so much fun.
Dusseldorf was extra exciting because it was hosting the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is – youtube it and laugh! Basically, it comprises of one competitor from each country and then all the countries vote on who should win. There are sometimes a select number of decent songs but these are by far outweighed by eurotrash, uber-cheesy pop and just generally appalling music – excellent for comedic value. Some of the weirdest had to be Ireland and this one with a girl on a unicycle (can’t remember the country). The UK’s entry was Blue so at least I had heard of one group amongst a sea of faces I’ve never seen. In the end, Azerbaijan were the winners so next year, that’s where the finals are going.
So now I’m back in Leeds – study time again! I have two 100% exams coming up so time to do some revision.