“I wish to improve my skill set and learn from real-life scenarios.”
The statement mentioned above is one of the most common reasons why candidates wish to pursue an MBA degree.
Immersed in an arduous curriculum following a case-based pedagogy, a B-school graduate learns to look at various challenges an organization faces from multiple angles, analyze potential areas of improvement, and design campaigns or reforms accordingly, all within the confines of the classrooms. These case-study competitions thus serve as arguably the best means for B-School students to satisfy their ultimate objective of solving live industry problems, honing their skillset, and applying all that they have learned in a classroom environment.
Cracking case study competitions comes with its own thrills. Working in teams with people possessing diverse skillsets, brainstorming together to understand the problem statement at depth, formulating the feasibility of alternative solutions, and finally presenting your best solution in front of current business leaders. All this fills you with a rush of adrenaline which remains unparalleled and functions as a vital cog in the holistic development of candidates as a future business leader.
As important as it is to understand the objectives of participating, it is equally important to choose the competitions you wish to ace. For those who are beginning their journey of case study competitions, the best thing you can do for yourself is to grab every opportunity that comes your way. It is imperative to experience problem statements from different domains and analyze the feasibility, scalability, and practicality of your solutions to maximize your learnings from respective domains. As you learn to analyze your performance in each domain better, you can play to your strengths and give preference to competitions that lie in your area of strength. However, the general advice here would still be to continue attempting cases from various domains as it helps in the overall development across multiple disciplines, which is the ultimate objective behind participating in such competitions.
Furthermore, one should emphasize on research and execution behind each competition. The guiding principle behind acing case-study competitions is to provide solutions that are backed by data, and this requires extensive research. Platforms like IBEF, Statista, multiple college databases, Google Scholar, and research papers from top companies should be your go-to for researching and trying to understand what lies between the lines in these case-study competitions. Outside of the means of secondary research mentioned above, always look to conduct some primary research for your topic as it is crucial to gauge the understanding and requirements of your potential customer-base while formulating any solution.
We know, this must sound hectic at first, but in reality, it is manageable if the team works in full cohesion. It is of paramount importance to team-up with members having diverse skillsets for each competition and then distribute the work accordingly. Not only does this allow you to work with people possessing varied sets of skills and learn from them, but also helps you manage your workload so much so that these case-study competitions feel a part of the regular MBA curriculum.
A final word of advice for all our readers: As you begin your journey, you will face multiple challenges in almost all aspects of these case-study competitions. Thus, it becomes equally essential not to get bogged down by a few results. For each case-study competition that you don’t win, you enrich yourself with the experience. Learn from each endeavour, and then it will just be a matter of time before you win your first competition, which will only be the beginning of many more victories to come in the future.
Stay focused, stay determined, and most importantly, stay hungry!
Team Data Crunchers
[Pranav Bhardwaj, Sahil Sondhi, and Aditya Bharadwaj (MBA Batch 2019–21)]
National Winners, ( Udyami by IIT Madras, Brand Aficionado by IIM Visakhapatnam)