Despite my experience in competing in numerous case competitions at UW, competing on a global scale is always quite the shock. Suddenly your competition comes from different professional, business, and educational backgrounds. Rather than competing against students who go through the same coursework and preparation as you, you’re in a flight of students from every corner of the world with every background possible. And it’s the best learning experience a business student could ask for.
I can honestly say that the opportunity to compete at the International Case Competition at Maastricht is one of the best experiences I’ve come across at UW so far (and not just because I got a trip to the Netherlands out of it). In the past year or so, I’ve studied abroad and competed in three international case competitions, and from this I’ve learned the value of getting to meet other students from around the world. Being able to network with people from Universities in Asia, Oceania, Europe, and more has led me to some of the most enlightening conversations of my life. Suddenly you’re exposed to different viewpoints about absolutely everything: politics, lifestyle, and of course, how to solve a business case.
The ability to watch the top schools in the world solve and present the same case that you just spent 24-hours staring at, is one of the best ways I’ve been able to learn. At UW, I think a lot of students get stuck in the “UW-Mindset”. We have a very specific set of socially accepted rules to analyze cases, design PowerPoints, and deliver presentations. Watching other universities compete in a completely opposite manner and succeed at it really opens your eyes to the other possibilities. It shows that there is no “right” or “wrong” way, but there’s always something new to learn. I saw analysis frameworks I’d never seen before, presentation styles that made an impact, and people that knew exactly how to portray themselves.
Beyond the cases themselves, our team got a chance to meet amazing students, coaches, and professionals from all around the world. I can’t say enough about how much I value the friendships I’ve formed abroad, and how excited I am to have friends in all different corners of the world. This global network is something that will provide my professional and social life with benefits for years to come.
With all that being said: thank you to the University of Washington Global Business Center for this opportunity, my amazing teammates and all the hard work they put in (Kim, Chris and Stephanie), our outstanding coach Angela for all the endless support, our lovely team host Annemarie for everything you did to help us survive the week, and every other person that I met along the way that made an impact on my life. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity that I had and the lessons that I’ve learned, and I would encourage anyone who’s considering getting involved in the case competition community to go after it with all they have. I’ve seen myself grow on a professional, academic, and personal sense in the past couple years of competition, and I hope to give back to the community that made this happen in any way possible.
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