Early this year I competed in a sustainability case competition hosted by the SFU Net Impact team. The following video gives some great clips of what a formal competition consists of and the benefits it can bring to students.
For current and future students, I cannot emphasize enough the amount of practical skills one can learn in such a short amount of time. Initially the event is mentally draining as you spend hours creating a recommendation, it then shifts towards nerve-racking as you prepare to actually present in front of judges and peers, but by the end it is all worth it. Overall, what stood out the most to me in this particular event was presenting on a live case and giving real input to Fortis BC.
Some of my favourite skills an event like this allows you to practice include:
- Team collaboration under a high-stress environment
- Presentation frameworks and delivery
- Networking with both students and industry professionals
- Responding in the Q&A period (justifying answers or knowing when not to)
But where I find you can learn the most is watching (if allowed) your competitor’s presentations. Each time you are able to understand how another person has approached an open-ended problem, which teaches you another perspective that could have been taken and allows you to draw from it on another day. Over time, you collect and bank these approaches and perspectives, which (in my opinion) increases an individual’s ability to creatively approach strategic decisions.
With all this being said, the intention for my post was to encourage all current and future students who have an opportunity to compete in a case competition to go ahead and do so. It offers the practical experiences you just cannot mimic in a classroom.
Dylan Bird-Singh is an MBA candidate at Beedie School of Business. Dylan’s previous work and education was in the Health Sciences field. In his spare time he enjoys playing Rugby, reading, and finding adventures in the outdoors. Connect with Dylan on LinkedIn.