For the second time in three years, the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) student team has won first place at the prestigious University of Münster International Case Competition in Germany.
Twelve business school teams from 10 countries participated in the three-round case competition, held October 16-20, 2019. The OSB team, comprised of Kareem Ayoub, Fouad Abou Chedid, Cristina Hayek, Christopher Bouri and Hagop Panossian (coach) was the divisional leader for two consecutive cases, allowing them to take the stage in front of a global audience in the final round.
After the team's clean sweep, Ayoub said it was one of his best experiences, adding that “the case competition challenged students to find creative, logical solutions to real-life problems that companies encounter. It involved a lot of practice and hard work to be able to compete at an international level and achieve this kind of result."
The University of UMCC 2019 consisted of a preliminary and a final round. The preliminary round encompassed a 4 hour-case and a 10 hour-case. After the preliminary round, the winner of each division moved on into the finals, where the 10h-case is presented again. This year OSB cracked a short case about Liba, a small local German Kola company from Münster who is looking to grow outside of its home city and a long case on customer service for the logistics giant DHL's Post and Parcel Division.
Team member Hayek described: “This is by far the best experience in my student life from training to competing abroad, we were able to learn a lot from practical examples, acquire a huge amount of soft skills, and create a global network. I am beyond proud that my team and I made it to the finals and flew back home with a trophy."
“UMCC was truly one of the highlights of my academic life - the long days and nights at OSB paid off!" described senior undergrad Abou Chedid. “The rush from hearing AUB associated with the words “and in first place" is a one–in-a-million feeling. However, this would not have been possible without the amazing international case competition initiative at OSB and the endless support of our coach."
Participating in the case competitions is a way for any student to convey skills such as performing under time pressure and working in teams, and showcases analytical skills through solving complex business problems.
Bouri was proud to represent both OSB and Lebanon on an international stage. “The OSB Case Competition program contributed greatly to both my technical skills such as cracking and structuring tough cases, and my soft skills such as presenting in front of highly knowledgeable audiences. Overall, it was the highlight of my academic journey at AUB, and the main reason I have been able to land an offer at one of the world's top management consulting firms."
The team was coached by Hagop Panossian, faculty coordinator of the International Case Competition Program at OSB who added that, “once again our students demonstrated that they can compete and excel internationally. The formula of success in our case is very simple: academic rigor, outstanding personalities and loads of hard work." Panossian has been coaching OSB teams for international case competitions the past three years.