Students from OSB participated in multiple business case competitions this spring and early summer to demonstrate their leadership and quick thinking skills on an international stage. They competed in locations as far flung as Asia, Europe, and North America and were exposed to key concepts that will foster their business careers and augment their academic opportunities at OSB.
Global Business Case Competition - USA
The first competition was the Global Business Case Competition (GBCC) held in the United States at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington from April 9-14. The GBCC is a leading international case competition that draws undergraduate student teams representing 12 top universities from all over the world to compete in a fast-paced and challenging business case study.
The week-long competition provided students with a chance to build cross-cultural relationships and solve two real-world business case studies on Harley Davidson and Amazon.
OSB participants Karim El Melki, Rabih Dimachki, Christopher Bouri, and Roy Merheb were coached by Hagop Panossian and spoke glowingly about their experiences in this competition. “I am grateful to have participated in a program putting OSB students at the same level as others from the best schools around the world," noted Dimachki.
Bouri described his experience as “immensely enriching and greatly impacted me both professionally and personally. We created both lifelong friends and memories from around the world."
“Restless weekends and holidays have summed up to an exceptional experience," said Melki. “Case competition has given me the opportunity to work with phenomenal students and an unforgettable journey where competing with top-ranked universities provided me with the exposure needed to become a well-rounded business graduate student."
“The international case competition workshop and participating in the Global Business Case Competition are the highlight of my journey at OSB," summarized Merneb. “Months of hard work and the application of concepts taught in classes have paid off and created an opportunity and learning outcomes for students like no other."
In addition to solving cases, students took advantage of their time in Seattle to tour the corporate headquarters of Microsoft, Nintendo, and Tableus while coaches visited the Boeing factory and Starbucks Reserve Roastery.
Belgrade Business International Case Competition - Serbia
Immediately following the Seattle competition, a different OSB student team participated in the Belgrade Business International Case Competition (BBICC). That event was held in Belgrade, Serbia during the week of April 15-20 and is one of the top global business case competitions. Twenty university teams from around the world competed by solving real business problems presented by three Serbian companies and worked on topics like IOT and introduction of crypto-currencies.
Participants for this competition, Ramzi Nahlus, Mira Fakhreddine, Joelle Lahhoud, and Ali Kdouh received knowledge that will be critical for their professional futures. Lahhoud noted that “BBICC was a life-changing challenge that I am so grateful to have been a part of. Solving cases on real-life hot topics and competing against the top business schools in the world contributed to my growth as an AUB student and a future businesswoman."
“Having to solve a case on a difficult and new topic in just five hours taught me the real meaning of teamwork and resilience, tested and stretched my boundaries and made me realize that there is always more to give," commented Fakhreddine. “It is just about how far we are willing and determined to go."
The OSB team made it to the finals with the second highest score among all competing teams placing third overall and the OSB coach Panossian won the Best Coach award.
Chartered Financial Analyst Competition - Lebanon, Ireland
Closer to home, the final round of the CFA Society in Lebanon competition was held on February 24, 2018. This financial valuation competition involves universities in Lebanon. The competition focused on the valuation of the Commercial Investment Bank of Egypt and was first organized in Lebanon in 2014.
The AUB-OSB team, coached by Lina Tannir, won the competition with AUST University placing as the runner-up. AUB won first place in 2014 and 2015, and then again this year. The AUB team consisted of MFIN students Karim El Fata, Dalal Darwich, and Ali Atoui; MBA student Mazen Jradah; and Mostafa Takkouch, BBA-FINA concentration student.
Besides the first prize of $3,500 offered by BLOM Bank, the team went on to participate in the EMEA finals April 4-5 in Dublin, Ireland and were placed second in their division.
Tannir, finance lecturer commented that “this competition gives students real and unparalleled experience in corporate valuation by exposing them to latest applications and most up to date information on industries and corporations around the globe; adding to world-class networking opportunities and individual recognition from the leaders in the industry."
“The CFA Research Challenge was much more than a competition," added Darwich. “It was a learning journey where I learned, grew and met people from all over the world. The challenge exposed me to real-life challenges and prepared me for the job market. Throughout the few months in which my teammates and I prepared, I've expanded my knowledge in my major (Master's in Finance) and gained soft skills that I am sure will help me fight my way after graduation."
Jradah concluded that “the competition was a great learning experience, I am sure that the knowledge that we gained about banking sector valuation is unparalleled. Four months of hard teamwork preparation improved our technical and soft skills and gave us the chance to stand out among the best universities in the region."
HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition- Honk Kong
Finally, OSB students Joelle Lahhoud, Cristina Hayek, Ramzi Nahlus and Peter Rassie, along with coach Ali Charif, participated in the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition held June 4-9.
This competition brought together 24 universities from Asia, Europe, and North America. Undergraduate students competed against each other in teams of four for business strategy and presentation. The competition is was judged by senior members of the regional business community, giving participants exposure to some of Asia's brightest talent. Twenty-four universities representing Asia, Europe, and North America participated in the event.
The OSB team made it to the semi-finals, finishing in the top 8 out of a field of 24 competitors (top 8 over 24).