Brandeis International Business School

Why you should join a case competition

The Brandeis Consulting Association’s annual event offers a great opportunity to pick up real-world consulting experience

students at a case competition

Competing in a case competition has been one of my most enjoyable experiences at Brandeis International Business School.

Organized by the Brandeis Consulting Association (BCA), the competition presents a real-life problem at a business or institution. Teams of three to five students propose solutions by generating ideas and using their consulting skills. Teams must identify the important issues highlighted in the case and develop a strategy to address those issues to help the company achieve its goals. 

I participated in the fall of 2020 on a case involving the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation. Each team had one week to create a professional presentation and a one-page executive summary detailing their research, proposed plan and implementation strategy. After hearing the presentations, the BCA board selected finalists using criteria agreed upon between the case provider and BCA.

The final round took place during a live Zoom session before a panel of judges that included one or more representatives from the company featured in the case. More than 60 people attended the final presentations, providing all of the participants with a great opportunity to exchange ideas and make suggestions.

The three finalist teams prepared brilliant presentations and implementation plans that were described by the judges as “life-saving” for the Charles River Museum, which suffered a significant decrease in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. The consulting ideas were highly professional and supported by financial and cost-benefit analyses that offered a clear view on potential paths for the museum.

The winning team was offered a summer partnership with the museum to work on implementing their ideas in real life.

The case competition event achieved three main goals:

  1. The case provider’s company received unique solutions to their business dilemma(s) detailed in real time.
  2. Students benefited from the opportunity to hone their presentation, communication, problem-solving and analysis skills.
  3. Students came away with competition experience in a real-life setting.

My experience in the case competition was great. Although my team didnt win, I felt involved in a well-organized process. I acquired new skills and knowledge, not only about this particular organization, but about consulting as a whole. And I learned first-hand the value of experience in the field.

Student Insights features blog posts and videos produced by current students and recent graduates of Brandeis International Business School. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here belong solely to the author.

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