The team of four bachelor students, all in their first year of the BSc International Business Administration programme, were Ties van der Linden, Moritz Reimann, Anton Rzaev, and Lars Schöningh, accompanied by their faculty advisor Dr Otto Koppius. The case consulting competition was organised by Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada and took place online in March.
Another team of RSM bachelor students achieved a similar feat at the CaseIT Competition in February.
This annual SICC competition gave student teams 24 hours to prepare a presentation to show their recommended course of action to address the trend for open banking, and the role of the fintech industry, for global financial services holding company JPMorgan Chase. The RSM students were among the 80 students from 20 business schools in 14 countries around the world.
With two minutes to spare
The team members put in around five hours a day of preparation for the competition in addition to studying for their first-year exams. They were coached by second- and third- year bachelor students from the RSM STAR Case Club.
After the team’s intensive preparations, the race against the clock in the case competition started when the competition details arrived in the team members’ inboxes “at 14:35 on 15 March”, they said.
The RSM team was given information about JPMorgan Chase, and were able to ask Dave Forestell, Vice President, Office of CEO, Scotiabank about the state of open banking and FinTech in Canada, the challenges of consumer data integrity, and how Scotiabank deals with these new challenges. They also did their own research into market trends and opportunities for devising their strategy.
They put together their proposals over the next 24 hours and submitted them “at 14:33 on 16 March” – two minutes before the 24-hour deadline was up.
The next day, 17 March they made their preliminary round presentation to three judges. They heard the confirmation of their place in the final round a day later, and got ready to make their final presentation to a panel of 16 judges at noon on 19 March. The panel of judges comprised Scotiabank executives and industry experts.
It went well – they impressed the judges with the flexibility and scalability of their ideas, their focus on different customer segments and attention to practical details.
The competition tests students’ ability to create comprehensive solutions to business problems; to apply the theories they have learned in class to the real situations that companies face. They develop their problem solving and presentation skills, meet like-minded students and extend their networks.
An invitation to present to Scotiabank
The RSM students’ winning case and presentation at the Scotiabank International Case Competition showed excellent analytical reasoning, a strong grasp of business issues, and provided concrete and realistic solutions. It was well organized, coherent, and supported by facts, said one of the judges, Dave Forestell, Vice President, Office of CEO for Scotiabank.
“Lars, Ties, Moritz and Anton worked well as a team, demonstrating shared command of the subject matter and confidence in the question and answer section with judges. I was truly impressed with this team’s work — they have bright futures ahead of them!
“The RSM team took a deep dive into the case and defined the main issues the company currently faces, addressing each in an analytical and proper manner.” Executives from the bank have contacted members of the team to discuss the RSM students making their presentation to a larger group at the bank’s headquarters in Toronto.
Humble expectations but big result!
Team member Lars Schöningh said: “We went into the competition with very few expectations, knowing this was our first-ever competition, and had only had a fraction of the preparation time compared to other teams! But this is likely to be our differentiating factor - plus the countless hours our team put into preparing for two weeks leading up to the competition.”
His team-mate Ties van der Linden said: “When we heard we were selected for the competition we were all incredibly excited about the amazing opportunity. We knew we were only a team of first year students, but we had high hopes. Going into the competition we told ourselves that even making it to the finals would count as a win in our books. Winning the competition is a dream come true and we are all still trying to comprehend what exactly we have accomplished together.”
Moritz Reimann said: “We were very humbled being asked to represent RSM at the competition. We were also quite surprised because of the short notice and the extraordinary circumstances. And because nobody in the team had ever been to a competition, we didn't really know what to expect. But what we experienced was an exciting and engaging 24 hours of case solving, a thrilling first presentation, competing against many great teams and ideas and an instructive and rewarding final presentation. All in all, we are still surprised about this unexpected outcome and looking forward to working together as a team in the future.”
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China. www.rsm.nl
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