'It was Friday evening and we were on the plane heading to Riga, full of excitement and energy, still finding it hard to believe that we were in the finals. We made it!'
On Saturday morning after a delicious breakfast, we walked to the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).
When we arrived at the university, we finally met our competitors. We immediately felt comfortable with the other students. Since there is so much diversity at Nyenrode, we were already used to working and engaging with people from all over the world.
After a small get-together, the lectures began. During these lectures we noticed some overlap with what we had already learned at Nyenrode. That gave us confidence as the knowledge we had gained at Nyenrode could be applied in many different global settings. It was also great to see firsthand that successful people really apply these strategies in their businesses to achieve better outcomes.
After the guest lectures, the case was explained. They made it clear from the start that the case was a very challenging one that would require the utmost effort from every team – and they were right.
The main question was: “If you were a portfolio manager, would you purchase bonds in a near-defaulting company at an attractive price?” To answer this question, we had to work our way through the company financials, leading us to conclude that it was quite a daring undertaking.
We had already discussed most of the topics in our courses on Advanced Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions & Private Equity, so we set to work on the case with full energy. The time flew by, and when we were finished and looked at the clock, we saw that it was already 3:00 in the morning...
We woke up after a short night’s sleep and were really excited to start the new day, convinced we would give it our very best.
When we arrived at SSE that day, we presented our results and were evaluated by professional judges from the industry. This time we were in an environment somewhat further from home, which made us more nervous to present.
The presentation was highly informative and we learned a lot from each other. The jury needed some time to discuss the results, so during that time we went to the city center with another team.
This gave us a great opportunity to compare notes on what we all had studied. We quickly saw that the other team was very excited about our stories and experiences of studying at Nyenrode.
It was clear that we did a good job representing Nyenrode when the other team told us that they would visit Amsterdam the following week. Obviously, we invited them to come over and check out the castle as well.
Of course, you want to know about the results... and we are very proud to share that out of the 170 teams that participated from some of the best universities in the world, we made it to the top 15.
This is an incredible outcome that would not have been possible without the active support from Nyenrode in facilitating our amazing trip to Riga. As Nyenrode students, we obviously would have loved to be number one. Nevertheless, we have no doubt that we have set a precedent for future Nyenrode teams to beat our result.
Hopefully another team can take up the task next year. We can vouch that it is totally worth the late nights in the library.
The next exciting event is already around the corner: the Big Apple is smiling at us as we are getting ready to fly to New York to visit some outstanding companies and meet the CEOs who made them as good as they are. What can I say? #LifeasaNyenrodian is fantastic.''