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Warwick Economics students compete in the BI International Case Competition

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Warwick Economics students compete in the BI International Case Competition

Henry Tse and Avan Tam, two final year students studying BSc Economics were selected to represent the University of Warwick amongst a team of four at the BI International Case Competition (BIICC) in Oslo in February 2020.

Held by the BI Business school, in Oslo, Norway, the BI International Case Competition (BIICC) is an annual competition that is spread over six days with twelve international teams from renowned universities who compete in challenges which involve solving problems and delivering cutting edge solutions to real business case scenarios.

Henry and Avan documented each of the six days at the competition and reflected on how fortunate they were to participate in such an event.

Six Day Overview

Day 1 - The BI International Competition kick started with an opening dinner and party, where we were introduced to the Norwegian culture and business trends within the Nordic commercial world - which set the scene for the cases that we will be working on over the week. It was also a great opportunity to socialise with delegates from all the other eleven teams as well as the BI student buddy of our team, who accompanied us over the entire competition.

Day 2 - We presented our solution for the premier case on the second day. The case was released a week before we flew into Norway which allowed us plenty of time to prepare and rehearse the 10 minute presentation. In the premier round, we were asked to compose a strategy for the Construction City Cluster, a government backed joint venture in sustainable construction, to promote sustainable construction in Norway.

Despite the team’s solid performance, it was unfortunate that we scored second within the group of six and did not make it into the final. We believed that this was a product of our immense hard work and preparation beforehand. Nonetheless, this experience of presenting to the CEO and the senior management of the company was without doubt eye-opening and has also prepared the team’s confidence for the upcoming 24-hour case.

Day 3 - On day 3, we had the chance to tour around Oslo, taking a brief escape from business casing before the 24-hour final round. In the morning, we had the opportunity to visit the Norges Bank - the central bank of Norway, and learned about how the institute manages the country’s national reserve. We then toured around the city of Oslo, visiting local food halls and museums before gathering with all the other teams for dinner and exchanging ideas for the upcoming final round.

Day 4-5 - We were given our final case and 24 hours to solve it before presenting to a panel of judges the next day. This proved to be the most challenging part as the case involved a deep understanding of the electronic recycling services in Norway which pushed us to present innovative solutions on ways to collaborate with the recycling company in a scalable and certifiable way. Given the short amount of time, we have utilised the resources the best we could and complemented each other's strengths when working on the case.

Day 6 -During the presentation day, we put a huge amount of emphasis on the long-term strategy and recommendations on differentiating the recycling company from its rivals. Although our ideas successfully caught the attention of the judges, we did not manage to get qualified for the final round. The feedback given was that they would have preferred if a more comprehensive financials of the business were explained thoroughly. We also went above and beyond in seeking feedback from the CEOs to find out how we could improve in the future. Although we did not win the competition, we reflected on the advice received and took it as a good learning experience. We also realised that merely suggesting creative ideas was not enough, but instead more focus should be put on a strong plan of implementation backed by sound financial knowledge and business acumen in the future competitions.

After the competition, we were invited to a gala dinner, followed by a tour around the city with a “party” bus. We had a great time taking part in this competition.

Final Reflection

Looking back, BICC was an eye-opening experience for us. Firstly, we have made new friends from many universities across the globe and it was such a humbling yet fantastic experience for us to hear different perspectives on issues raised during the competition. Secondly, we have learnt so much in such a short period of time and being able to present our business skills confidently in front of the CEOs was something we are very proud of. Looking back, we think that the whole experience has given us even more confidence to do well in our future careers.