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Like it or not, you are a negotiator

The finals of the Business Games

The beginning of March included two major business games. Both Leuven Case Competition and Solvay Business Game were held within just one week. This, in turn, marked the grand finale of our Business Games Project. This is our experience!

Let’s start by giving a brief overview of the competitions. Leuven Case Competition is organized by Ekonomika. There is a first round where students get selected for the second round, based on a broad case they have to present. (This article will focus on the final, further details on the first round can be found in last month’s newsletter or on our website) The 200 best students get to compete in four different cases on the final day. These include the Marketing Case, the Strategy Case, the Tech Case and finally the Individual Case.

The second competition that took place that week was the Solvay Business Game. As the name suggests, the students of Solvay Brussels School are behind the initiative. This competition also has a selection procedure, based on an online test. They select the best 400 scores, starting from 1032. Thus, we were very proud when all of our members were selected. The competition itself takes places over two whole days. The first day, the Pitch Challenge, Negotiation Challenge, and Strategy Challenge are scheduled. On the second day, there is the Marketing Challenge, the pitches for the respective challenges, and the Eloquence Challenge.

The Leuven Case Competition had some interesting challenges presented by the partners. For example, Unilever presented a Marketing Case, which tested our strengths in finding new business opportunities to expand upon their current product range. The change in consumer mentality is a challenge which tests many of the existing firms. The millennial has different purchasing habits and has other expectations. As a result, our members had a wide variety of solutions. Here are some of their findings:

“We focused on the way of bringing the product to the consumer, the producers should strive to lower purchasing barriers as much as possible.”

Another member stated:

“After a brainstorm, we came up with several product innovations that cater more to an active and social lifestyle.”

This shows very well what made the case as challenging and interesting as it is. Instead of zooming in on every case individually, let’s look more at the overall experience.

“This competition is a great opportunity to bring students and companies together. It is the first taste of what consulting, possibly in-house, can be in our future careers. I am also happy to report that the LCM SA workshops prepared me well to fully understand my team, even when the time pressure is heavy. It was an enriching event and I’m happy I took part.”

“The Leuven Case Competition was my first time participating in a business game. The various problems made me see business in a new light. The finance behind the issues in only partly what matters when deciding your long-term views.”

The Solvay Business Game was as impressive, if not more, than the LCC. With it being two-day long and taking place in the Sheraton hotel, it leaves many students in awe of the exclusiveness of the event. Also, because 142 different universities take place from 66 nations, you never know who you’re getting teamed-up with. It is a great opportunity to build a network and broaden your horizons. This is what our members had to say regarding the event:

“The Solvay Business Game is a competition I would recommend to any interested student. It challenges you to perform to your maximum ability. With the wide range of problems raised by the company, it really tests your knowledge thoroughly. At the same time, it is a great learning opportunity. With feedback from professionals and the examples of your teammates, you can make a lot of progress in just two days. Having to pitch 3 different ideas in just a couple of hours was the biggest challenge for me. It demands a lot of energy and mostly a lot of preparation. I’m proud of our results and hope to participate again next year.”

“This event was one of the highlights of my semester for sure! I got to meet new and interesting people. The challenges were diverse and left plenty of room for creative solutions. The level of competition was very high, but that also allowed me to give it my all. We had great teamwork and we were very compatible when faced with these issues. Definitely a weekend to remember!”

“As this is my last semester as a student, I really wanted to see what student life still had to offer. I decided to take part in many different competitions, and I have to say that SBG is among the best I got to experience. The event is impressive, to say the least. The atmosphere there is amazing and so were the people there. The Business Games Project prepared me well and I would like to thank the organizers for the workshops."