Simon Students Won 1st International Graduate Competition

By: Lingling Chen 

After 48-hours of continuous working, four Simon students – Lingling Chen, MS ’12, Irina Ivanova, MBA ’13, Mahendra Goyal, MBA ’13 and Rajesh Chaudhary, MBA ’13 won the 1st International Graduate Competition held by HEC Montreal, under the guidance of Professor David Tilson. The Simon team was highly acknowledged by their international horizon, in-depth analysis, data-driven insights, creative solutions and convincing presentations. Besides the top prize, they also won the only Best Report Award.

The 1st International Graduate Competition drew together talented graduate students from the world’s top-rated business schools in Finland, Canada, Denmark, Australia and USA. Participants acted as consultants to help a company find the optimal solution to its multifaceted problems of international strategy, marketing, human resource management and finance. “It was a very tough competition since we only had 48 hours to work through 4 interrelated cases, come up with a complete consulting report and two final presentations”, says Lingling Chen, the Marketing Specialist, “I still remember how we struggled until the last minute”.

“It was a very unique and enlightening experience for all of us, because it is a ‘cooperative competition’”, says Rajesh Chaudhary, the Strategy Specialist who is still excited about the wonderful experience. On the first day, functional experts from competing teams worked together to analyze individual cases and find solutions to problems raised in the cases.  On the second day, all experts worked with their own team members to find the optimal solution for all cases and prepare their consulting report, the sales pitch and the final presentation as well. On the third day, each team gave a 15-minute sale pitch intended to convince the judges that they completely understand the key issues and are able to find the best solutions. Teams from Simon School and Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) were chosen as the two best teams and gave a 30-minute final presentation followed by a 20-minute Q&A session.

“We really benefited from Simon’s quantitative education and its diverse student and faculty body”, says Lingling Chen, “the Marketing and Finance Specialists need to be very proficient in multivariate regression and time-series analysis, which we have already fully prepared during our classes and in our daily assignments. The quantitative training positioned me to analyze the trends behind large amounts of data and the diversity at Simon afforded me the opportunity to think about problems in multi-angles”.

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