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3 good reasons why you should apply to a business challenge at least once
Awards / 20 April, 2020
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BSc in Business Administration Class of 2021
Jermaine is currently in his 2nd year studying Banking and Finance and works at a Frankfurt based Start up in the sales department to improve his prospects of getting into deal advisory.

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Let me begin with a section from The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman on luck and opportunity:

“Take the case of chance opportunities.

Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities

whereas unlucky people do not.”

1. The Chance Opportunity

Frankfurt School is ever generous when it comes to providing its students with valuable opportunities to learn, discover, and accomplish tasks set to turn young business school students into capable professionals with a wide-ranging and dynamic skillset. The BBA Business Challenge competition by IE enabled my team and I to understand what it means to pitch and present an idea with entertaining, yet confident and accurate delivery. Three important characteristics the jury, consisting of real representatives from PlayGiga and LVMH respectively, made us aware of.

“My first business challenge also represented a huge opportunity to network and build relationships that will surely last over time.”

– Giulio Gambardella

“Amazing opportunity to challenge yourself, especially in the 24h case. You have to learn new skills very fast and need to adapt to new situations.”

– Niklas Keuler

Joining a business challenge of any kind will lay-in and enforce critical foundations for your business persona, an excellent opportunity that should be taken on at least once.

2. People

An important reason for me personally is meeting new people. Getting to know and spending time with such a diverse group of students from the Netherlands, Canada, all the way through to Australia is a wonderful thing. Given leisure time, friendly and intelligent discussions dominated the halls of IE & streets of Madrid. Then throughout the competition, the cohesion of our Frankfurt team began to show its worth. Everyone quickly knew their relative strengths and thereby took on the tasks best suited for him or her. No question was too stupid and no idea too far out there – especially when questions are as open ended as ‘What should the company do more to improve its environmental impact?’ Between the 4- and 24-hour cases our team was able to analyse and internalise the techniques employed by competing universities. Amongst them The Rotterdam School of Management, providing valuable feedback with regards to the structure and beats that must be hit during a business case pitch.

Niklas and Giulio summarised the experience perfectly:

“The people we met were open since the very beginning of the competition and willing to share their experience as well as pay attention to ours.”

– Giulio Gambardella

“It´s crazy how fast you can make new friends, if the people around you all share the same mindset and want to have an amazing week.”

– Niklas Keuler

3. Accomplishments and Humility

Using the acquired knowledge FS provides us with, as well as the individual ingenuity of each of our team members Sophia Katsiki, Niklas Keuler, Giulio Gambrdella and myself supported by Veronika Kneip, were able to break through to the finals. The 2020 challenge being our first business challenge provided a steep learning curve, all feedback was vital to achieve bronze and the team is looking forward to future engagements. Presenting to 30 odd people was a very humbling experience – we were vulnerable, pitching our idea for Loewe which may have been very different to what the other teams came up with. When it was over, we felt both accomplished and relieved.

“My confidence improved and I am still looking forward to next event. It was a huge achievement and I felt a great sense of pride, both for me and for the team.”

– Giulio Gambardella

Three good reasons from our trip to Madrid which I hope inspires you to consider applying to a business challenge. It delivers a great promise of new opportunity, interesting sights, and a great diverse people. And it may improve your luck.