What’s the best thing about being a Business student? I could write down a series of Buzzfeed-style lists of what makes the life of a business student so exciting. However, today I want to zoom in on one of the top items on such a list: the opportunity to participate in Business Games, sponsored by Frankfurt School. Having just come back from one such enthralling event in St. Gallen, I could only enthuse about what a tremendously great and challenging learning experience it was.
1. Business Game = Theories applied in a business-stipulated environment
Teamwork, deadlines, presentations, client pitches, accompanied by lots and lots of arguments and compromises, do all these sound familiar to you? No, it’s not your typical day in the office; it’s in fact the sum-up of two and a half days of grueling competition among 100 of the smartest and most caffeinated business students from all over Europe. (Fun fact: We consumed just about 500 Nespresso capsules in the first day of the competition:)
The Game was not only the perfect opportunity to apply the theories gleamed from classrooms into a stimulating environment, but also the chance to test our mental toughness. Within four hours for each challenge, we had to get to know the new teammates, create a productive working dynamics, discuss the problem, find the solutions, paint them into a nice clean format, and finally present them to the jury in a convincing manner. The St. Gallen game consisted of five real-life case studies from the company partners: BDO Switzerland, Nespresso, Swarovski and Zurich Insurance. Probably one of the greatest learning points from these challenges for me is that in the end, I was able to spot head-on exactly what kind of skills I am still missing so that back to Frankfurt, I am most keen to polish on these skills.
2. Make a ton of new friends, within FS and from outside alike
This is not to say that you would not be able to have fun during such an intense competition. I have to admit that I had a mega-load of fun, from spending time on the long train ride to Switzerland with other FS-mates, during each and every challenge down to the final party. Nothing bonds people better than going through adversities together, and sharing a single-minded goal: winning the game for our school. I have personally witnessed many great friendships forged out of these three days together. For me especially, it was a very cozy weekend get-together with my classmates from MIB, as all of us stayed together in one hostel room, sharing jokes, laughter and even frustrations of the day.
3. Prizes galore
The President of the organizing committee from St. Gallen concluded the closing ceremony with the remark, “I didn’t know that business games could make you so rich.“ I think it is admirable that the sponsoring companies not only put so much effort into designing the case challenges but they also reward the winners with many envy-inducing prizes. Ask Carlos and Melanie, our FS winner team of the pitch challenge as they are super-bumped up for a weekend trip to a five-star resort in Arosa, Switzerland. Or Jonathan and Hendrick, as they flashed their shiny new Swarovski swan figurines, and Max and Johannes, all from the Master of Finance group, with their sparkly crystal champagne glasses. It must feel great to be the second and third runners-up in the Swarovski challenge. But of course in the end, the greatest prize would be the wonderful memories you have made and the many new connections you have gained.
In conclusion, I am certainly grateful to FS for such a privilege to represent the school in the challenging competition at St. Gallen. I am now back to Frankfurt (a sunny and wonderful city at this time of the year) fueled with even more eagerness to polish my skills and improve myself, so I could come back next year fully charged and better prepared to tackle new challenges and hopefully to come up on top. That goes to say, one special trait of Business student is also that, bull or bear, we just keep pressing heads-on. As a Chinese adage aptly goes, “Know thy-self, know thy competition, and get it right almost every time.”