By Makarand Gawade, Staff Writer
I joined Thunderbird for the Thunderbird mystique and global mindset. The business frameworks, processes, and models I have learned, the people I have met, and the places I have visited have made my journey at Thunderbird very special. This article is delineating one such experience. First of all, a big thank you to Professor Auh for his encouragement and support to apply to the Global Business Review competition in Seoul, South Korea. Throughout the process he has been a great mentor, and his direction and our efforts (myself and Christian Rogers, ’15) earned us the 2nd position award at the Global Business Review competition.
The Global Business Review at Yonsei University in Korea is organized every year by the Global Alliance of Marketing and Management Association (GAMMA) in association with Korean Scholars of Marketing Science (KSMS). This event received an overwhelming response this year, and more than 150 students (graduate and doctoral level) from 15 countries around the world participated in the conference in different categories. Our presentation was on the topic of customer decision-making focused on “consumption-based incentives.”
Imagine that you walk into a hall filled with senior executives from some of the top international corporations, research scholars from around the globe, and professors from reputed universities, and your mission is to present the best solution to a complex business problem in fifteen minutes. We felt that was a perfect setting to apply the broad range of skills that we acquired during our MBA at Thunderbird to solve real-world problems and influence corporate decision-making. It was a great forum to challenge ourselves in a global competition and win accolades for Thunderbird. In retrospect, we feel that more than winning the competition, the experience of presenting in a global competition, networking with like-minded individuals, and learning multiple perspectives from participants from diverse industries and functional backgrounds were crucial.
I believe that “case competitions” are an integral part of the graduate school experience. These competitions give students an opportunity to hone their presentation skills and portray their talent in real-world business situations. This is a perfect setting to test your ideas to understand how feasible, practical, and executable they are in a risk-free environment where you are able to receive constructive feedback from peers and professionals to further improve your personal and professional qualities. The preparation and intensity of the efforts required in participating in a case competition cannot be understated, but the rewards are far-reaching. Competing with students from diverse cultural, functional, and industrial backgrounds and assessing your skills and capabilities is an exciting process.
To summarize, case competitions foster creativity, leadership, and learning through stressful yet enjoyable experiences. I believe case competitions provide a plethora of opportunities to students. It is a platform to illustrate personal and professional capabilities and a stepping stone to achieving greater things in the competitive world of global business. Furthermore, case competitions can serve as an unconventional but efficacious way of securing internships, jobs, and exposure to real-world issues.