Valdemar Sloth Mads Studsgaard Mads Buhl
Aarhus Case Competition 2020 has the great pleasure of three extremely motivated case writers. One source of this motivation comes from their own participation in Aspire Case Camp 2019, where they gained some very valuable insights into case solving. They all had a challenging and eventful week with the cases - and at the same time a very inspiring week. Little did they, know that this was the first, but not the last time they solved a case like this.
However, this year the three is all on the other side of the table as they are Case Writers for this year’s case competition. The Case Writers will through close collaboration with this year’s Premium Partners provide the engaged students with new, complex, real-life business cases, which are based on genuine issues that the Case Company is facing at this moment in time.
Below you will find an interview with the three case writers, where they will take you through their experience from participants to case writers at Aarhus Case Competition.
What do you make of your participation at ACC 2019?
In lectures and classes, we learn a lot of theory about economic models and how we can apply it to the real world, which is super interesting to learn about. Sometimes it might seem a bit tedious as it involves an excessive amount of assumptions, and that makes you wonder if it’s really relevant on the other side of the university.
I didn’t really know a lot about case competitions before last year, but I soon learned that this was a really good opportunity of bringing the theory into play and to use it in practice. On top of that, I could even have experienced consultants as advisers to guide me during the case solving, which seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a contact to people within the field that I find interesting.
My participation at the ACC 2019 was my first ever case competition and I am thankful to Valdemar for that. He called me a couple of weeks before the deadline and asked me if I wanted to participate with him and two of our mutual friends. By that time I didn’t know what it meant to compete in a case competition nor how our performance would turn out.
It was a week full of activities where normal everyday life was put aside. No lectures at school, no going to work and no gym time. We met at school at 8 am and was home again at 9 pm. During the days a lot of the time went towards solving the cases, but besides that, a lot of social gatherings involving presentations and dinners went by. The learning curve was steep. I know Valdemar will agree.
Occasionally, we all experience events that are transformative for ourselves. For me, the Aspire Case Camp was one of those events, since it inspired me to advance within case solving and management consulting. Now, six months later I have participated in several more case competitions - both national and international - which all have given me new invaluable insights to real-life cases.
What’s your motivation to be involved in ACC 2020
Participating in last year’s case competition really sparked my interest in case competitions, as they closely resemble the work of a consultant. You are given the opportunity to help solve a complex real-life problem for the Case Company, and that really spoke to me. One of my friends, who is representing ACC for the second time, then introduced me to the option of being a Case Writer, where I would be able to work with the Case Company and full-time consultants to help shape this year’s case. So I sent in my application and now I have been set up with some great teammates both in the Case Writer group, but also in the Committee as a whole.
When attending the ACC 2019 my team with Valdemar and I came pretty close to one of the Case Writers. He told us of his experiences as a Case Writer, how he had held close meetings with full-time consultants and worked in a group of three in a 6+ months-long process constantly working towards the aim of having three cases ready for the 200+ participants ultimo March. That was a responsibility I’d like to take upon me as well. The target seemed huge and it’s from those positions where you learn the most.
To avoid repeating Mads, I’m very much finding the Committee as a whole as being an admirable side benefit with strong connections and engaging activities for all of us together.
After becoming accustomed to my studies in Economics and Business Administration, I identified the position as Case Writer as a perfect new challenge for my 2nd year. Therefore, it is a great honour to represent ACC in this role, where I will be able to utilise some of my acquired skills from my studies and use them proactively to develop a complex, real-life case in collaboration with our Premium Partners.
What do you want to give the participants?
I was deeply motivated when I attended the case competition last year, so I definitely want to pass that on by making a great case for the next case competition participants. I think we all want that - to build a great case that is challenging and a case that allows creativity to flow. A case that invites a lot of different solutions, and one that inspires the participants to think outside of the normal “university-mindset” by testing their business understanding. Overall, I want the participants to have a great experience as they get to work with a real-life business case.
Adding to that, I’m looking forward to seeing the participants’ reactions to the work we’ve spent so many hours on. Presenting the first case on Monday and all the way to Friday’s finale, it is going to be an amazing week, not only for us but for the participants in particular.
When taking a holistic approach to case competitions, it is simply a unique opportunity for all students to use the theory one is taught at the university and use it in real practise with a real case for a real company. After last year’s Aspire Case Camp, Mads and my other colleagues returned with new energy and looked at our studies through a new lens, which was much more focused on how the theory works in practice. I personally hope many more students will get to see things through this lens after participating in ACC 2020.