Nurturing Business Capabilities and Friendships

IESE MBA Case Competition

20/02/2013 Barcelona


The chance for MBA students from around the world to share common experiences and perspectives is just one of the many benefits of the IESE-Roland Berger Case Competition, which marked its 18th edition this year.

Organized by IESE's Consulting Club, the competition has become a highly anticipated event among top business schools. Held February 14-16 this year on IESE's Barcelona campus, it provides a unique chance for MBA students to create strong bonds with candidates from other leading business schools, while sharpening their analytical and presentation capabilities.

How does it work? Teams of students from top business schools gather to delve into a case and present their analyses in various rounds of competition. At the same time, they have ample opportunity to exchange viewpoints and experiences as MBA students and future business leaders.

"Discussion during lunches and dinners was about each other’s MBA experiences, professional experiences and the job searches they were all in, which made the competition not only a challenging weekend, but also a weekend full of new perspectives," said organizer Robert Van Den Breemer of IESE's Consulting Club.

Dinners and social activities are organized to foster interaction among all the participants, he said. The final phase of the program features presentations that are attended by all the teams. During this session, students more openly discuss how they viewed the case, highlighting diverse solutions to the key questions posed by the author, he said.

This year, London Business School won the competition, with IESE coming in second. Other schools taking part in the event were Tuck, Yale, Chicago, HKUST, CEIBS and INSEAD. The 4-person winning team received internships at different Roland Berger offices around the world.

This year's case, written by Prof. Julián Villanueva of IESE's Department of Marketing, dealt with strategy and focused on the global retail chain Primark. Serving on the jury were two Roland Berger partners; Patrik Wallen of IESE Career Services Department; Prof. Villanueva; Lilliana Cabal, communications expert from IESE; and María Aracil, IESE graduate and retail expert.

Students gain multiple benefits from the MBA Case Competition, namely the chance to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained through their programs in a supportive yet competitive environment, say organizers.

The four highly coveted internships at Roland Berger are an additional reward, said Van Den Breemer. Members of the winning team "started checking where Roland Berger has offices immediately after their victory to see where they would want to go."