At a recent international contest, some 16,000 km away from home, business students at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut (AUB), took part in the Champions Trophy Case Competition 2020, hosted by the University of Auckland's (UoA) Business School in New Zealand.
The AUB team was invited to partake amongst twelve top-performing undergraduate case competition universities to solve cases faced by businesses, including a chocolate startup, a sports event, a human resources growth, and an NGO. Team OSB included undergrads Christina Hayek, Christopher Bouri, Fouad Abou Chedid, Kareem Ayoub, and was led by faculty coordinator of the International Case Competition Program Hagop Panossian.
In the preliminary round, the team solved three cases, and qualified for the finals, as divisional leader. "In the final round, we competed against University of Forida, Indiana University, Queens-Canada, and the National University of Singapore," explained Pannossian, recognizing that, "In three years, we managed to put OSB teams among the very best internationally," exclaiming how "proud" he was of everyone's achievements.
The Kiwi competition provides a choice of challenges, built to develop students' analytical, teamwork, and communications skills across a range of business scenarios. It also provides opportunities for students to foster friendships, learn from each other, and gain valuable experiences outside of the competition.
For participant Fouad Abou Chedid, the competition was a perfect way to start the year, with OSB being at the forefront, competing against the brightest, most experienced, and competitive young consulting minds. "We were able to overcome many challenges along the way," said Fouad, pointing out that though the final standing was not in the team's favor, the team gained a majority of votes from participants, coaches, and organizers as best finals presentation, "awarding us the People's Choice award for the UoA Champions Trophy 2020. What a great way it was to start the year."
The competition, reflects Christina Hayek, "was one of the most rewarding experiences from my chapter at OSB." It allowed her to overcome personal challenges like bungee jumping, as well as professional challenges by reaching the finals. "Moreover, our satisfaction came from the opportunity to compete against top business schools," Christina added, and pitching their ideas to executives is, "the best preparation for our next steps after graduation."
For veteran team member Christopher Bouri it was both an honor, and a wonderful experience competing. "Thanks to the hard work of our coach and colleagues, OSB has been able to cement itself as one of the top case competition programs in the world."
According to Kareem Ayoub, the Champions Trophy was the most challenging competition to date. It was an acomplishment in itself, "to be able to compete against the best of the best," articulating, "this would not have been possible without my teammates, who make the experience worthwhile, and keep on encouraging me to perform at my best."