a UNSW Business Society official publication
What are case competitions and
how to ace them?
By Karrie Chen
Date Published: 22/04/2020
WHAT ARE CASE COMPETITIONS
Now settling into university, you may find yourself surrounded by talks of case competitions particularly amongst older students. So what are they exactly?
Case Competitions are opportunities for students to experience how a business may strategise to develop a solution for business problems, particularly within the consulting field. Teams of 3-4 members are presented with a problem to research and depict their findings and proposed solution visually in a slide deck presentation within one week. From submission, different rounds are held to allow teams to present their solution with the top teams advancing to Grand Finals. The structure may differ depending on the scale of the competition, from local (UNSW), intervarsity (Sydney Universities), national or international.
Sounds scary... but at the end of the day, a case competition is all about your ability to problem solve which is a core skill employees look for.
WHY DO PEOPLE DO THEM
At times a case competition may feel like you have signed yourself up to complete another assignment but there are various benefits you can gain from participating.
Opportunity to win prizes - each case competition will offer different prizes for the top-performing teams or individuals ranging from fast-tracked interviews, coffee with senior management or even a free meal!
Bond with others - as cheesy as it sounds, staying up till 3 am frantically completing your slide deck before submission alongside your teammates builds a camaraderie not easily replicated elsewhere.
Learning and Development - there is no end to learning when it comes to a case competition. From developing insights into different industries, presentation or PowerPoint skills and creativity in solutions, there is a little something for everyone!
HOW TO ACE THEM?
Simplicity is Key - Don’t try and solve all the problems in the world. What I mean is that you will have a limited number of slides in the presentation and time to present so you need to be selective on what you choose to show. Think about the capacity of a company in implementing multiple solutions or address various problems at once, focus on the issues most prevalent.
Don’t undermine the importance of practice - If you make it to the heats round, make sure to set some time aside with your team to practise your speech as well as brainstorm answers to potential questions that may be asked at the end of your presentation.
Perseverance - The people you see who have won many case competitions didn’t all start at the top, often they may have failed to even make it to the heats round. What makes them different is their effort in continually trying despite the results so don’t give up!
What are you waiting for? Grab your friends and sign up for a case competition! Lucky for you BSOC has got your back with our various competitions throughout the year with the first one being the annual Google Case Competition. Feel free to message the page with any questions you may have!