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Solving New Zealand’s Business Problems

Friday 27 May 2005

Solving New Zealand’s Business Problems

The might of the best student business minds will be put to the test at the regional heat of the New Zealand Case Competition this weekend at the University of Otago’s School of Business.

Teams of four will battle it out to solve a business case problem given to them on the day. While the topic is under tight wraps, the organisers promise it will take enormous efforts of data gathering, collating and team work to distil the problem and decide on an achievable solution.

“Case studies are a scenario or problem that a real business may be facing, or has faced. The idea behind these competitions is that students interact with these problems and learn to think through them strategically. It’s a way for students to test some of the skills they have learned while studying – to effectively test the theory in a practical situation,” says Dr John Guthrie, organiser of the Otago Business Case Competition.

Thirteen teams have entered this year’s competition including 36 undergraduate students and 16 postgraduate students. Teams will be given 4 ½ hours to analyse the case and devise a strategy which they will then present to a panel of judges comprising business executives and academics. The postgraduate teams will be judged separately from the undergraduate teams.

The School of Business has a proud history of Business Case Competition success.
The inaugural New Zealand Business Case Competition was held in 2003 by the School’s Department of Management and involved five universities. The national competition has been held annually since with each university holding regional heats before sending a team to a national final.

The School has also triumphed internationally. In 2003, the School was strongly represented at the Copenhagen Business School Case Competition with the undergraduate team competing against 11 international teams. Another team competed in the prestigious PIM International Business Case Competition held in the US in December 2004. After competing via the internet in the heats, the team went on to win the world final held in Atlanta.

The annual event, which is sponsored by the School of Business, the University of Otago Schoolof Business Students’ Society (OCOM) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers will be held at the School of Business on Saturday 28 May. Final presentations will be held at the Commerce Building Lecture Theatre 2.03 from 3.15 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend the final presentation.

The successful undergraduate team from Otago will represent the School of Business at the New Zealand Case Competition national final held at the University of Otago in August.


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