April 23, 2019Print | PDF
The Belgrade International Case Competition, took place from April 7-13 at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. Each year, 20 top business schools from around the world are invited to participate. This year, the Lazaridis School was honoured to receive an invitation. Members of the Laurier JDCC team, Melissa Donato, Matthew Donovan, Stephen Kingston and Kathryn Porretta spent many hours practicing and researching in preparation. They were coached by Sofy Carayannopoulos and Srin Sridharan and supported by other students on the JDCC team.
“In preparation for this competition, [we] dedicated countless hours to research and case practices. I have been involved with the case program since September and I must say, it has been invaluable. My communication and thinking skills have improved immensely. It’s a nice change from the typical learning environment that primarily focuses on theory,” said Melissa.
Kathryn added “Training and practicing for the competition was always something that I looked forward to. It taught me how to use and apply business theories to real company problems. It pushed me to think outside the box and stay informed about the latest innovations, and it taught me valuable lessons about working as a team.”
The competition was comprised of three challenging cases. The case questions asked students to provide expansion strategies for new products and identify industry verticals in which to deploy technology tools.
Students had to provide rigorous proof of feasibility and a comprehensive strategy. Judges were industry professionals, mostly senior leaders, who demanded defensible answers to tough questions that would be asked in any boardroom. Our students rose to the challenge and brought home the first-place finish, adding to the international reputation of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University.
The judges commended the team on the comprehensiveness and insightfulness of its solutions as well as the support they provided to demonstrate both value and feasibility. Judges also noted their presentations skills and their ability to defend their recommendations when barraged with tough questions meant to pressure test their thinking.
“One of the biggest ways that BBICC stood out was with the judging. Both the number of judges in attendance as well as the quality of the judges - they were all well-researched, well-prepared, and ready to ask tough questions in an attempt to really poke holes in every team's solutions. This added to the level of difficulty but overall improved the caliber of the competition,” Matthew told us.
The experience at the competition extended beyond the cases. The BBICC organizers ensured that participants had the opportunity to learn about Serbia and Belgrade and broaden connections with students and faculty from around the world. Our students have forged friendships with others from top schools around the world while being impeccable ambassadors of the Laurier brand.
Matthew shared, “These case competitions are a great way to combine rigorous academic requirements with the ability to meet and get to know teams from around the world. I always love the wide range of cultures, languages, and people who are present at each competition. It is great to get to know both the students and faculty from universities around the globe.”
This is the last case competition that students of the JDCC teams will be doing this academic year. There is much to celebrate with multiple podium finishes and stellar performances in both JDCC and the six international competitions in which they participated this academic year. They are doing an incredible job of representing both the Lazaridis School and Wilfrid Laurier University nationally and internationally.
“The case team program has been very rewarding over the past three years I’ve been involved. Having the opportunity to represent Laurier internationally was an experience second to none. The cases were challenging and the judging pushed us to be thoughtful and ensure deep analysis was conducted. Taking home the win was absolutely incredible and the fact that two of the three podium spots were claimed by Canadian students shows how strong Canadian schools are, and also how valuable the Laurier BBA and case programs are,” Stephen told us.
Congratulations on another international win!