“Bienvenue à Paris!” – Our experiences from the HEC Business Game

This blogpost was written by Rolands Englands from Latvia and Jens Helmes from Germany, first-year MSc in Business students at BI

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We are two MSc in Business students majoring in Strategy, and recently we challenged ourselves by participating in the HEC Business Game (HBG), a case solving competition held in the renowned HEC Paris campus. Our overall conclusion, without a doubt, is that it certainly was worth the time and effort even in the midst of our pressing Master studies. Therefore, the main takeaway from this blogpost should be – either a Bachelor or a Master student, you should proactively seek case competitions, especially international ones, find likeminded people and apply, because it is a fascinating source of alternative knowledge!

Some practical information regarding the HBG 2018 (http://www.hecbusinessgame.com/):

  • To apply, we had to submit a video presenting a solved case
  • Around 200 participants from all around the world attended the event
  • Teams of two – you always stick with your teammate, but in each challenge, you get thrown into a team of 6 people (3 different teams)
  • 4 challenges in total, 2 in each day, provided by the following companies: Bain & Company (management consulting), Wavestone (management, digital & technological innovation consulting), Edenred (transactional services), ABInBev (world’s biggest beer brewer)
  • Each challenge had to be solved in groups, followed by a pitch in front of both the game organizers and company representatives

These two days were very intense and truly managed to put us into the shoes of consultants. While it was fun to meet new people and explore the presented cases, the time pressure in each challenge made it feel very serious and realistic. For instance, the Wavestone case presented us a crisis management challenge with a cyber-security attack example, where, right after meeting our new teammates and hearing out the case, we had only 30 minutes to make a major decision and write a report about it, followed by two other tasks afterwards.

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Needless to say, besides working on topical cases that brought us up to date with today’s challenges in business, we had the chance to work with bright students from all over the world and create invaluable connections. We learned tricks and tips from peers regarding how to approach a case, how to present it and what toolkit to use for it, and it was very useful, given the diversity of knowledge in the room.

Finally, we want to personally thank Shani Pearson, Marielle Nilsen and Debbie Harrison for showing interest in our efforts to take part in HBG 2018 and for arranging financial support from our university, BI Norwegian Business School, which made this exceptional experience possible.

As a final note, again, we encourage every student from BI to seek alternative ways of learning, such as case competitions, as this helps us foster new knowledge, connect to the rest of the world and put BI’s name out there.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,
Rolands Englands (e-mail: englands.rolands@gmail.com)
Jens Helmes (e-mail: jens.helmes@student.bi.no)

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