At the beginning of this year, four of our Full-time Master (MSc) in Management students traveled to Montreal to compete in the John Molson Case Competition, a prestigious challenge for MBA and Master students. One of the participants, Asiya Suleimanova, shares her experiences with us."Looking back at the John Molson Case Competition, which took place in Montreal Canada from the 6th-11th of January this year, I can certainly say that this was one of the most challenging and yet rewarding experiences at Nyenrode. It was a great opportunity for my personal development, but also an exceptional honor to compete in the biggest and most prestigious business case competition in the world on behalf of my alma-mater, Nyenrode Business University."
The team of students representing Nyenrode in Montreal, was selected after taking part in a case competition on the Nyenrode campus.
"It all started with the decision to join the last course of my Master, the ‘Case Study Method’ course, back in the summer. This course would provide me with the opportunity to claim a position in the team representing Nyenrode in Canada. I like solving business cases, because this way of studying provides you with a lot of actual business information about companies and at the same time challenges your analytical and presentation skills. This is something that I believe to be of crucial importance in the professional arena. Choosing this elective was therefore an easy one for me."
During the elective, the students took part in an intense week of solving a variety of cases, received coaching on leadership and innovation, and got the chance to solve real-life cases for KLM and Foot Locker. A panel was assigned to evaluate all the solutions. At the end of the course, an additional selection process for the John Molson Case Competition was made available. Students who were interested, could apply. So did Asiya.
"We had to solve a final business case and present our analysis to the course leader and future coach, Willem van Donge and the students who had competed at the competition last year. Out of all the 16 participants, only 4 got selected: Bart van Campenhout, Julie Wijmans, Jassu Hermans and myself. We hadn’t worked together before, which made it very interesting to experience how we would perform as a team."
After the team was formed, Bart, Julie Jassu and Asiya started with some serious training, as any real competition requires. From the beginning of November, they would meet up at least once a week for about 4 hours, sometimes longer depending on the length of the case.
"Because of the crown theme of the competition – 'disruption' - we were practicing cases covering a broad variety of industries, including business cases about Netflix, Postmates, Booking.com and Trivago. After every presentation we received feedback and coaching from Willem."
The moment was finally there and the team of Nyenrode representatives embarked on their journey to Montreal.
"Despite a very intense preparation, we knew that we would still have to work really hard, because we were competing against MBA students. John Molson exists for 38 years now and this year's event brought together students from over 30 leading international business schools and 19 countries. Mornings and afternoons in Montreal were dedicated to the actual competition, where we would solve cases every day and present our solutions to juries. The juries consisted of C-level professionals from different industries such as banking, marketing, human resources, IT and AI specialists. This meant that at the end of the presentation, we had to defend our solution by answering questions ranging from finance and logistics to marketing and innovation topics. During the evenings we had a chance to explore Canada, meet other participants and make new friends and professional connections."
"I am very happy and proud of our results, the cases we won and the innovative solutions we could come up with! I would like to use this chance to thank Nyenrode for this amazing opportunity, Willem van Donge for his continuous support and his trust in us, and my teammates for a rock-star performance during the case competition and their dedication all these months leading towards the competition."
"I would like to encourage fellow Nyenrodians to take the opportunity to compete in a case competition next year. It will definitely enrich your learning experience and prepare you for the future challenges!"