IESE’s International Case Competition, held March 22-24, featured MBA student teams from many of the world's top business schools. INSEAD was named the overall winner, with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology taking second place in the final round of the competition.
The event, which this year marked its 17th anniversary, has become a hallmark event at IESE, attracting teams of students from diverse countries. This year, an unprecedented number of business schools from India, Europe and the United States sought to take part in the competition, which has a limit of eight participating teams, said MBA student Manish Handa, who co-organized the event. “
It was started 17 years ago, so it’s now like a legacy,” he said. “Every year we see more students interested in it and more students involved in running it, so it’s a very big competition for IESE.”
With sponsorship from Roland Berger, the annual event attracts culturally diverse and multi-lingual MBA teams. This year’s event included MBA students representing the following schools: CEIBS, China Europe International Business School, China; HKUST, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; INSEAD, France; Northwestern University, USA; LBS, London Business School, University of London, UK; Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, Canada; RSM, Rotterdam School of Management, The Netherlands; Yale School of Management, USA; and IESE, Spain.
The competition kicked off with a welcome ceremony on Thursday afternoon, followed by a working session, then two more days of intensive work on a specific business case. The teams made case presentations on Saturday in two rounds, with the final winner announced on Saturday afternoon. The winning team is awarded an internship at Roland Berger.
This year, the teams prepared a case focusing on the global fashion retail company Mango, written by IESE Prof. Joan Enric Ricart. Taking part in the event was Xavier Carbonell, director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Mango.
The IESE Case Competition provides a unique opportunity for MBA students to network with peers in a highly global context. Teams who take part must be multi-cultural and be made up of 1st-year MBA students. Fluency in English and a language spoken at another Roland Berger office is a prerequisite for all team members.
IESE’s Consulting Club took steps to make the 2012 edition of the event highly visible in the United States, he said. “That was our big focus this year.”
The MBA office provided essential support in contacting other MBA offices in the United States, and IESE’s Consulting Club reached out to consulting clubs at other U.S. business school campuses to inform them of the event. IESE MBA students currently studying at other leading business schools through the school's international exchange program also served as ambassadors for the competition, he said.
For Handa, the event offers an invaluable opportunity to network and learn. “It was something I wanted to be part of. I get to meet students from other business schools, interact more closely with the MBA Office and interact with Roland Berger consultants. So the whole experience is really good.”