This blog was written by the Norwegian and Serbian BIICC 2016 team.
Ferdinand from Team Norway:
All good things must come to an end. BI International Case Competition has been a fantastic journey yielding memorable experiences, challenging tasks and an extraordinary social dimension, governed by transnational friendships and cultural exchanges.
After almost three years at BI, I have come to a conclusion: When BI does something, they do it properly, they go all in, and they do it well. BIICC is a true reflection of this. We were introduced to a lot of what Oslo has to offer: Holmenkollen Ski Jumping Hill, Oslo Vinterpark, Oslo Opera, and the Nobel Peace Price center; Norwegian history, with our (reasonably restricted) number of famous people; and the Oslo City Hall, with all its history and cultural aspects. All this set the scene of a week that provided the participants with more than 32 hours of case solving. In my opinion, the social aspects of a case competition are just as inspiring and important as the competition itself; although I am sure that we all have learned a lot – especially about Hydro and the aluminium industry – from the competition, the 32 hours itself are pretty unsocial regarding the fact that we were locked up in a hotel room for most of the time.
There are three individuals I did get to know really well though, and those are my team members. When you are locked up in a small room like that, unable to communicate with the outside world, you have to get along and be able to communicate well with your team members. This, along with team dynamics, is vital for any group in order to perform well in a case competition. You need to be open to new ideas – and accept that others question yours. You need to carry out and reinforce the unique qualities of each member in the group. Last but not least, stay focused and do not lose your head. Five hours before the deadline in the BIICC, I found what I thought was a calculation mistake that ruined our whole solution. To put it gentle, I was not the most popular team member for the 10 minutes it took us to figure out that, the calculation was actually correct, and that we could move on. In situations like that, you need to stay focused, think logically, and not resign. Because when you face the judges with a prosperous solution in which you believe in, you have prepared your speech, as well as answers to potential questions, there is nothing better than to feel how the team’s energy and confidence flows during the presentation.
I would say that there are three key takeaways from the BIICC:
First of all, it was a challenging exercise in which we all needed to use and combine all our knowledge. One of the most demanding aspects of a case competition is to acquire and process a lot of information in a short period, and then be able to combine this new information and knowledge with what you already know. After working on the case myself, and watching the final, I am impressed by what a team consisting of four fairly inexperienced students can put together in only 32 hours.
Secondly, I must mention the social aspect. A case competition is a unique arena to meet top students from all around the world, make connections and build friendships, not to mention to learn from them and their ways of thinking and solving problems. I think I speak for all participants when I say that we had a lot of fun during that week, and that we all met people we will keep in touch with in the future.
Lastly, BIICC was an excellent arena to meet and connect with potential future employers – especially for the Norwegian team, including myself. There are not many situations in which you have the undivided attention of seven executives for 30 minutes – and get the opportunity to talk and discuss with them and other business representatives in a more relaxed setting afterwards. In a world where the job market is getting tougher everyday, this can be what decides whether you will get an interview or not. Would you let this opportunity get away?
Greetings from team Bowtie from Belgrade!
First, we would like to thank everyone back at BI for a wonderful time spent in Oslo! The entire organizing committee worked very hard and we had more than a good time. The programme of the BIICC was impeccable, everything was high class and BI should be proud of itself.
It was the first time in Norway for all of us, and we were truly impressed. Oslo is a beautiful city, and something very different from what we are used to. The architecture, sunny weather (that we did not expect J) and friendly people made our stay a wonderful memory. Vigeland Park was especially interesting because of all the explicit imagery! Even though we did not stay as long as we would have liked to, we still got to see many landmarks such as Munch Museum, the Opera House, the Royal Palace and the City Hall. However, the one thing we are really sad about is the fact that we did not get to try the Norwegian national dish, Grandiose pizza.
BI students made us feel like at home and we’ve made many new friends during BIICC with whom we hope to stay in touch. Our buddy Oksana is the best host we possibly could have gotten; we cannot imagine having been in Oslo without her. So, shout out to Oksi!
Taking the trophy home was the cherry on the top, and it was the perfect ending of this amazing experience. We hope to see you all sometime soon!
Love and tusen takk from Anja, Andreja, Stefan, Bane and Slavica.