Stepping into the business competition scenario | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 28, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 28, 2018

Stepping into the business competition scenario

Business competitions are a hot favourite as an extracurricular involvement for mostly business undergrads and sometimes even for most undergraduates of other subjects. What makes them so alluring is that, these competitions often present the participants with problems with context that most participants have a tangible connection with. Other than that, the clout, the social media exposure, the added career opportunities and the hefty prize money are also some important driving factors for their popularity.

Business competitions often happen in phases. It begins with an online round. Here, participants are asked to submit a solution to a particular case they've been assigned to. In my personal experience, this phase happens to be the dormancy period of a team. The online round mostly leaves teams in despair because you don't get to know where and what part of your solution fell short off the mark. The upside of this phase is that once you get past it, chances are you know how to deal with its absurd deadline and requirements from the next time, ensuring a better probability to get selected.

Once you're past the online hurdle, things start to get real. Competitions get fierce and the stakes get high. The presentation rounds are gruelling as it requires presenting before judges and subsequently defending what you've presented. As a beginner or a rather new face in this field, you may find it challenging in many ways. The presentations are strictly timed, the content has to be coherent and most importantly there is no scope for error.  Personally, I feel there's much to learn from this phase of the competition. This is because in most cases you have judges from the relevant business industry judging your content. Their feedback on your solution is based on the first hand experience that these individuals have. So, if you're wrong in an area there's a chance that you'll get to know the right avenue. And if you're spot on, know that your ways of thinking are somewhat coherent. The learning curve for any business undergraduate reaches its peak in this part of the competition.

The presentations may happen in many phases with several different approaches. One of the most challenging approaches is the instant business case study solving. This particular approach sees that the selected teams are divided into panels, provided with a tedious case and are asked to solve it within a very short deadline and then present it in front of the judge panel. This competition is quite challenging as it requires one to think on their feet with time running out at a fast pace.

Business competitions are tedious. It's because once you get past a round you're automatically committing yourself to the next one. This turns weekends into workdays. But the finale most often covers for all the lost weekends and the sleepless nights spent behind each case. The finale is also a presentation round but it's far more intense and competitive. It's common for anyone new to crumble under pressure or to botch things up in the finals as the presentations are more challenging, and the questions become more difficult and intimidating.

Nevertheless, the learning opportunity from such competitions is high and if it pays off, you're left with a hefty prize money and a substantial entry in your list of achievements.


Naveed is studying marketing in BUP and would like to emphasize his love for the number 20,1627. Reach him at

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